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Trump donates $1m of his own cash to Hurricane Harvey relief fund: “howls from the left that it is not enough!”

Goodness! One is quite relieved that hurricanes hardly happen in our dear Home Counties, though the occasional flash-flooding is not altogether unknown. The news from Texas is terribly upsetting, but who can deny they do things bigger and better over there? Perhaps bailing out will provide temporary relief from statue-smashing, at least until muscle-fatigue sets in. Alas, hatred still manifests itself even in disaster, as the sabotaging of a rescuer’s boat simply because he flew a Confederate flag testifies.

As yet we do not know for certain how many people have lost their lives, and of course we must pray for them and their families. Sad how President Trumpelstiltskin and his wife have been lambasted by anarchic left-wingers for turning up ‘inappropriately dressed’, as he would have been attacked for not turning up at all. He has donated one million dollars of his own money to the rescue fund – howls from the left that it is not enough! Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Quite unfair, but it is not about fairness, is it.

My Lord the Bishop and I were shocked to hear of the kidnapping of a Christian child at the hands of Muslim pirates this week. One of the great mysteries is how the activities of such villains along the coasts of Cornwall (and indeed the rest of Europe) over centuries is never referred to, “…for only the white man has slaves.” As it turns out, this information was somewhat twisted in the telling – Dr. Vesey Stanhope can never be relied upon to get his facts checked. No pirates were involved, just Tower Hamlets Social Services, and the child was not sold into slavery but taken from her parents and fostered by Muslims, where she was forbidden to eat bacon and had her silver cross and chain removed. Imagine the outcry if that story had been the other way around? Though briefly reported by the Bolshevik Broadcasting Company, it was immediately followed by a more detailed ‘uplifting’ example, highlighting a successful placement of another Christian child with Muslims, unicorns and rainbows. Oh, how are manipulated, Lord! Thankfully, we don’t have Social Services in Barchester; we find the orphanage, workhouse and local chimney sweeps manage the necessity of ‘fostering’ very well.

President Trumpelstiltskin’s executive order forbidding transgendered transvestites from joining the military has upset many (and delighted just as many) across The Pond. On reflection, he may have missed a trick. Imagine the horror and bewilderment in the Russian camp as the Light Brigade charged wearing crinolines and bonnets and a little bit of slap! Surprise being a key element in an attack, what could be more surprising than a well-armed bustle? I discussed this with Mr. Slope, who seemed all in favour. He asked if I would write to the War Office and suggest such a move, putting his name forward as regimental chaplain. He is well-qualified – he loves nibbling his soldiers at breakfast.

I am not a fan of Mrs. Dismay. To those who say she is the best of a bad bunch and our only hope of Brexit, I reply, “How did we sink so low?” I read in The Jupiter yesterday that she intends to stay on as Prime Minister after the next election. Presumptuous, is it not? For such a thing is in the gift of the electorate and cannot be taken for granted. That is at the heart of LibLabCon’s problems – the shared contempt for the man (and woman) on the Clapham Omnibus, unwashed though he-she-it may be. Alas, there is no Mr. Disraeli waiting in the wings to bedazzle the nation and save the day. Make no mistake, I do not advocate a Corbynov government – perish the thought – yet such a thing may come to pass, for the young are dancing to his tune.

The story of the young Treasury official who demolished the legal arguments of the Zollverein (regarding stumping up hard-earned cash in order to leave the club) reminds me of David and Goliath. If that boy does not deserve a knighthood then nobody does.

The Archdeacon is on holiday but sends his regards. He and Mrs. Grantly have taken a small villa in Great Ranting by the Sea, which sounds delightful.

As for yours truly, I must away to the shops before they close. Mr. Slope has started with a summer cold and I need to make a bread poultice to stuff down his long-johns, an age-old remedy that never fails… to amuse, that is. So, as the horse-drawn carriage of gender certainty draws up to the crossroads of self-identification and the underpants of free speech are packed away in Frau Merkel’s portmanteau of oblivion, I bid you all adieu.

  • michaelkx

    “Tower Hamlets Social Services,” I am surprised the commiserate of Tower Hamlets case was not discussed by his Grace, or more loudly broadcast by the papers, if it had been a Muslim child, we would be hearing about it for days and Mr Musthavefatwa and friends would be rioting in the street, and bombing unassociated places.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      We live in the Time of Doublethink, dear michaelkx

  • Father David

    Ah, dear Lady, it’s not just the young who are in thrall to Mr. Corbyn and his tune of hope. Earlier in the summer I attended the Durham Miners Gala – still going strong – even after Mrs. Thatcher ruthlessly and callously closed down all the pits – and there was a record attendance of 200,000 there to hear Comrade Corbyn orate. No wonder the Tories are clinging onto Nurse Dismay – as a clear alternative is waiting anxiously in the wings – not worse but with a melody of hope amidst our current Brexit despair. Isn’t it about time the PM reshuffled Del Boy Davis who is making a complete hash of the negotiations? While she’s at it can she also ditch the Foreign Secretary as he is proving to be a national and international embarrassment. Mind, old Bozza is quite a good wordsmith – much better than he is a politician. His book “72 Virgins” is both enlightening and entertaining. Go on Treeza, wield the knife before they do.

    Thinking of Slope’s breakfast proclivities – this summer I visited Iran and met many wonderful friendly people but may I issue this note of caution to any of your readers who may be contemplating a visit to the Islamic Republic? Staying in a 5 Star Hotel in Isfahan I was shocked to discover that a “Full Persian” does not include rashers of bacon nor indeed any pork sausages. Also during my stay not a drop of alcohol passed my lips.

  • dannybhoy

    “He has donated one million dollars of his own money to the rescue fund – howls from the left that it is not enough! Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Quite unfair, but it is not about fairness, is it.”
    The Left is always eager to spend more of other people’s money..

    • Sarky

      Arh the power (or not) of prayer!

      • magnolia

        Not all answers are “yes”. Some are “no” and some “not yet,” some are not fully sent, others (according to Jesus) insufficiently persisted in, while some are “yes in parts” and some meet roadblocks along the way, while others are a mystery. How else might it be anyway?

        • Sarky

          It can’t be any other way because that would require evidence.

          • dannybhoy

            And evidence would do away with faith Sarks…

          • Sarky

            Exactly.

          • dannybhoy

            Exactly what?
            We have recently done the thing about individual intelligence leading us to a place where we believe there is enough historical evidence to prove the veracity of the Bible, the life of Jesus, the improbability of Abiogenesis and the problems with Evolution yet you ignore all of that and demand that God provide irrefutable proof which logically would do away with free will and turn us into meaningless robots.
            And all you can come up with is ‘Exactly’.
            John 3:16.

          • Sarky

            I don’t ignore it, i don’t agree with it.

          • dannybhoy

            Well that’s where you’re at Sarks. But in all my years as a Christian I have found many like you. Indeed I was once like you -except I believed in the existence of God; I didn’t want to yield my life to Him.
            Thankfully God was patient with me and after some years I came to a place of faith and commitment.
            Yet the Bible says we are all under the wrath of God, not just because we don’t believe but because in our unbelief we don’t with a sincere heart, seek Him.
            John 3:16

          • Sarky

            Why would you seek something you don’t believe in?

          • Dominic Stockford

            because the something you don’t believe in draws you to himself.

          • Sarky

            No it doesn’t.

          • dannybhoy

            Because your future destiny depends on it. Because if the Bible says in John 3:16 that God sent His only Son into the world to sacrifice His life for you and me, and you continue mocking whilst the Almighty continues listening, what excuse will you have?

            “11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
            Jeremiah 29

          • Sarky

            Danny, you should know that quoting scripture at me is pointless.
            The bible is just a book, its words to me are meaningless.

          • magnolia

            The greatest trouble with that is that like it or not life is a spiritual battle between
            good and evil. As you are quite far from the epicentre you do not encounter that much. However you are still without armour on the battlefield, even on the edges of it, so in danger of stray bullets. Closer in to the centre and no armour becomes unthinkable, and your worry is about chinks in your armour, not whether God exists.

            To put this more graphically when you eventually encounter a really mad bad and dangerous person you have no way of dealing with it, when you encounter a person who knows they are dying and wants strength you come empty handed. “Here are some nice flowers i brought you” doesn’t hack it for them. No need to be bare against the storm.

          • Sarky

            Supernatural twaddle. I can comfort a dying person just as well as you, the difference is i don’t offer false hope and promises.
            P.s. i deal with mad, bad and dangerous people all the time and i know perfectly well how to deal with them.

          • dannybhoy

            You said earlier,
            “Yep, we provide evidence, they provide fairytales.”
            I provided evidence as to why people believe but you ignore it.

            “The bible is just a book, its words to me are meaningless.”
            The Jews are the living evidence of that book. Are they meaningless?
            The Jews were persecuted for approximately two thousand years and herded into concentration camps under Hitler’s regime. Because they were different and refused to give up their identity
            Was that meaningless?
            After having been driven out of Israel into exile twice in their history and returned as the Bible prophets said they would, is that meaningless?
            That after 2000 years they find themselves back in the land God promised to them that also is meaningless?

            “I am reminded of an anecdote told about Benjamin Disraeli, the Jewish Prime Minister of Great Britain, who was asked if he knew of any infallible proof of God’s existence. He is supposed to have answered, “The Jew, sir, the Jew.”
            https://faithalone.org/journal-articles/jewish-genius-and-the-existence-of-god/

          • Sarky

            Again, not evidence. There is plenty that has been written about this and none of it proves the existence of god.

          • Chefofsinners

            There you go again mixing up the terms ‘evidence’ and ‘proof’.
            Evidence leads you towards a possibility. Proof forces you to a conclusion.

            The very concept of an infinite God is, by definition, beyond proving to a finite mind such as yours or mine. Therefore faith is essential.

          • Sarky

            Cop out.

          • Chefofsinners

            Your response is the cop out, because it avoids answering the points I raised. If you trust your eternal destiny to an answer such as that, you are a fool.

          • Sarky

            I don’t believe in an eternal destiny.

          • Chefofsinners

            Which is bound up with you not believing in God, which is what we are debating.

            You continue to avoid the point. If God is, as claimed, infinite, then He is inevitably beyond your understanding. But you reason than such a God does not exist because He has not proved His existence to you.
            The gulf between God and man in unbridgeable unless we abandon hope of understanding Him and instead exert faith. This concept runs through all scripture. It is rational and is one of the hallmarks of truth which distinguish the Christian faith. Some day perhaps you will realise that your parents were, in fact, right.

          • betteroffoutofit

            “Which is bound up with you not believing in God, which is what we are debating.” Yes exactly.
            After all, “I don’t believe in an eternal destiny” ignores the materialist fact that, at the end of biological existence, all ‘life’ is destined/fated to “die.” That is simply: “what happens.” In this sense, “destiny” extends etymologically to the Latin, “destinare = to make firm, establish” and relates to our word “destination.” Does our contrarian not believe that the change of form – whatever bionts turn into or become physically/chemically – lasts (or keeps on changing) permanently?

            His “Destiny” is admittedly synonymous with “Fate,” the Latin concept ” ‘fatum = a prediction’ – from ‘fatus=spoken’ – from ‘fari=to speak’ (Chambers Dictionary).”
            The aspect of ‘speech’ connects ‘fate’ to the “neuter plural of ‘fatum, prophetic declaration of what must be, oracle, prediction,’ ” thus “the Latin word’s usual sense, ‘ that which is ordained, destiny, fate,’ literally, ‘thing spoken (by the gods)’. ” These connotations have stemmed from the Proto-Indo-European: ” ‘bha = (2) to speak, tell, say,’ (Online Etymology).” People have long sought to understand how and why these processes persist.

            I see that, later in this thread, Old English (OE) enters the discussion (in reference to Tolkien). The OE and germanic perception of “fate/destiny” – comes to us via “Wyrd” and also carries the earlier meanings of “what happens,” or “turning/becoming.** ”

            My point, then, is that our atheist is imprecise in his expression. He cannot logically or truthfully deny: the changes that inevitably come about, or even their relationship to his own understanding of time. He simply denies any sense of power or spirit informing the laws of physical/biochemistry – within or without himself.

            [[Methinks: That’s a dead, dead universe . . . ]]

            ______________________________________
            ** This from Etymology Online ” . . . Old English wyrd “fate, chance, fortune; destiny; the Fates,” literally “that which comes,” from Proto-Germanic *wurthiz (source also of Old Saxon wurd, Old High German wurt “fate,” Old Norse urðr “fate, one of the three Norns”), from PIE *wert- “to turn, to wind,” (source also of German werden, Old English weorðan “to become”), from root *wer- (2) “to turn, bend.” For sense development from “turning” to “becoming,” compare phrase turn into “become.”

          • Linus

            And The Lord of The Rings says there’s one ring to rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

            That’s not true either. It’s just one more piece of fantasy fiction. Just like the Pixiebook.

          • Chefofsinners

            Just like atheism.

          • Brian Kelly

            Come on, Linus, surely you know that Tolkien was a devout Christian and he wrote his trilogy as a kind of pre-Christian allegory about the power of evil and the triumph of good. Have you ever studied literature or are your literary categories very limited and wooden? I can’t believe so as you sound like a well informed person to me – mistaken in many ways but still well informed. And for that reason you will know that Tolkien believed in the historical existence of Jesus Christ, his death on the Cross and his resurrection from the grave. As a Professor of English, Tolkien wouldn’t want you to confuse your literary categories in a dull and uncomprehending way.

          • Linus

            Tolkien’s imagination led him to invent all kinds of fairies, elves and monsters as a way of expressing his ideas about good and evil.

            According to his mythos, the elves were good and their beauty was an outward sign of that goodness. Orcs on the other hand were hideously ugly, and their ugliness was an outward sign of their evil nature.

            So I wouldn’t be too keen on quoting Tolkien as a Pixtian apologist. After all, where does that leave you? What does your ugly mug make you? Good or evil?

            According to Tolkien’s logic, I should flee from you as your outward nature reflects who you really are. I tend to agree with him, but we arrive at the same conclusion via different reasoning. I don’t reject you because of the way you look, but rather because of the abject nonsense you spout and your contemptuous, condescending manner of spouting it. I match my mode of communication to yours and guess what? You don’t like it!

            Surprise, surprise…

          • Brian Kelly

            Ah,Linus – you don’t understand literature or Tolkien either. As I said above, Tolkien’s work is a PRE-Christian allegory of good and evil. It is a world where the grace of Christ has not (yet) appeared. That he should use the old conceit – so central to Greek mythology and there in Norse mythology – that equates physical beauty with moral goodness is not at all surprising. If he had been writing a Christian allegory – as Lewis did in his Narnia works – it would have been a very different book. You can’t read LOTR as a Christian allegory, but the universe it inhabits is definitely that of the Christian Creator, as Tolkien made clear, as are its themes: the battle between good and evil, the corruption of sin (Gollum) and the need to decide for good and heroism.
            Lewis did venture into the pre-Christian world in what I think is his greatest work, ‘Till We Have Faces’, which presents an astonishing view of the world from a woman’s eyes (a bitter, deformed woman who hates the gods and demands ‘justice’) – read it, you’ll be amazed.

          • Linus

            How about the angels? If they exist, they have irrefutable proof of Sky Pixie’s existence because they see him every day. And yet many of them still managed to rebel.

            Your claim that proof of Sky Pixie’s existence would deprive us of free will is one of the easiest of the Pixtian myths to debunk. If that were so, no angels could have fallen and there could never have been a serpent in the garden of Eden. Indeed we would still be there, wandering about like lobotomised Stepford wives in a constant state of pixiegasm. But we’re not.

            Ergo, if Sky Pixie exists, proof of his existence does not negate free will. So your entire argument collapses like a house of cards.

          • Chefofsinners

            Proof of an infinite God’s existence is incomprehensible to a finite mind. This is why faith is essential.
            The rebellion of angels may well be one of those things which is beyond our comprehension, but one thing it does imply is that even seeing God face to face is not enough evidence for those who choose not to believe. Clearly the angels did not believe God was more powerful than them, otherwise they would not have rebelled.
            The same is implicit in the gospel accounts, for there were many who saw miracles but did not follow Jesus.
            So the bible is proved correct when it says “without faith it is impossible to please God.”

          • Linus

            In which case Sky Pixie has no reason to hide himself from us. If free will is not dependent on him hiding away so we’re not overwhelmed by the glory of his sky-pixieness, his invisibility and undetectability have no purpose.

            So where is he?

          • Chefofsinners

            I need HIm we live, and move and have our being. This is called His immanent presence. You are not aware of Him because God is Spirit and humans know Him through their spirits, but your spirit is dead.

            God also has a transcendent presence, in which He cannot abide evil, so if you were in his transcendent presence you would be immediately destroyed.

            It is not clear what exactly you are asking for. You seem to want to see God in a form which you can understand. That can never be, because your mind and your senses are finite. Jesus is God in the flesh, but the bible records that He was rejected by many who saw the miracles. “Neither would they believe if one rose from the dead.” Jesus said. And you don’t. You can only see God through the eyes of faith.

          • Linus

            Your Pixiebook “records” nothing. It merely recounts myths and legends.

            And as for spooks and spirits, they don’t exist. Only children believe in them. Children also believe in Father Christmas. He doesn’t exist. So why does your Sky Pixie?

            In any case, if I’m wrong and there really are spooks and spirits and sky pixies flouncing about in the “ether”, I’ll take my chances. As you’ll have to take yours. If I’m condemned for not believing in them, so are you for judging me when your Pixiebook informs you that Sky Pixie reserves that right to himself. Unless of course YOU are Sky Pixie. You keep telling me what my fate is and clearly believe your opinion to be infallible. Goes to show what a sock puppet this Sky Pixie is, doesn’t it? Your hand rammed up his rear end moving his lips. Not very frightening at the end of the day.

          • Chefofsinners

            So your arguments are reduced to simply saying that you don’t believe it.

          • Linus

            As yours are reduced to saying “I do believe it”.

            In the absence of evidential proof, skepticism is the most logical position to adopt. I do not believe in your Sky Pixie because you can produce no evidence to support his existence.

            If there really were such a thing as a sovereign spirit, and he really had created us for the purpose of worshipping him, and he really did love us, and we really did risk hellfire and damnation for refusing to bow down to him, basic logic would indicate that he’d make a bit more of an effort to persuade us of those facts rather than leaving the task up to a bunch of crazed, hypocritical and morally bankrupt Pharisees.

            If Sky Pixie is real then the world must contain proof of his existence that a rational mind can work out for itself without the interference of Pixtians. If it doesn’t, then nobody born in a place or time where there were no Pixtians to convert them could ever have been saved. They would have been created for damnation and the Sky Pixie thus revealed as a merciless tyrant and monster.

            If he’s there and he’s benevolent then there must be convincing independent evidence of that.

            So where is it? I can’t see it.

          • Chefofsinners

            You know very well that the bible says God has dealt with different people at different times in different ways.

            Throughout history many people have concluded that there is enough evidence for them to believe. Their belief has given them joy, purpose and a sure hope. You hate that, don’t you?

          • Linus

            When their “joy, purpose and sure hope” come at expense of other people, of course I hate it.

            Persecuting others, making their lives a burden to them, imprisoning, torturing and murdering them and trying to deprive them of any possibility of “joy, purpose and sure hope” is the price Pixtians have been willing to pay throughout history to be sure of their own “joy, purpose and sure hope”. The selfishness of it is breathtaking.

            How much “joy, purpose and sure hope” do you think a young gay person who has the misfortune to be born into a Pixtian home experiences? Does he feel joy at being labeled an abomination by those who are supposed to love him? Does he feel purpose when told he can not only never marry, but must remain alone and celibate all his life? And where is his sure hope? Is he supposed to place it in a homophobic Sky Pixie who knit him together in his mother’s womb and, while doing so, decided to give him a life sentence of solitary confinement with no hope of parole or time off for good behaviour?

            Your “joy, purpose and sure hope” come at the cost of imposing misery, purposelessness and despair on others. You buy your pleasure with their pain.

          • dannybhoy

            dannybhoy Sarky • 13 minutes ago
            Sarky,
            Sir Anthony Flew
            https://strangenotions.com/
            Wehrner von Braun
            http://mobile.wnd.com/2017/
            Richard Feynman:
            “The answer to this question lies in recognizing the limits of science:
            I do not believe that science can disprove the existence of God; I think that is impossible. And if it is impossible, is not a belief in science and in a God — an ordinary God of religion — a consistent possibility?”
            http://bigthink.com/experts
            Francis Collins:
            “One of the most respected scientists in the field of genetic research, Collins was a self-described ‘obnoxious atheist’ in his academic days. During this stage in his life, it seemed clear to Collins that science had all of the answers. Any questions about life and the universe could ultimately be reduced to physics and chemistry.”
            https://www.premierchristia

            “The ultimate irony, needless to say, is that Charles Darwin said he believed in God. Let’s face it: most intelligent people believe in God, as did most world leaders in the past. My uncle, a war hero in the Albanian campaign when we wiped out the Italians, once told me that he had never seen courage like that shown by priests and medical orderlies in the thick of battle.”

            https://blogs.spectator.co….

          • Sarky

            And?? Do you want me to start quoting atheist scientists??

          • dannybhoy

            Nope.I’m simply pointing out that there are plenty of intelligent and learned people who do believe.
            But as I said you do not want to know how and why they came to believe, because you don’t want to..

          • Sarky

            I’m always interested, but it’s normally the same old same old.
            Traumatic experience, a visitation, or falling back on old beliefs.

          • dannybhoy

            Well you haven’t been very scientific about it then have you? These guys are academics, scientists. That’s what they study, science.
            Yet you write off their own story as same old, same old..
            Like I said we provide evidence for the reasonableness of faith and you ignore it.

          • Sarky

            Its not evidence Danny. Its testimony, hearsay and scripture . None of it is evidence. You cant prove the existence of god or the claims of the bible, if you could you wouldn’t need faith.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes — at least he doesn’t consciously want to. Some Spirit keeps drawing him to this Christian blog though: even if he delights merely in the sheer joy of childish pestiferation.

            ‘Pace’ to my old friend Omar/Fitzgerald, who addresses S’s MO quite aptly:
            “And if the wine you drink, the games you play
            End in the nothing all things end in, yea –
            Then fancy while thou art, thou art but what
            Thou shalt be: Nothing. Thou shalt not be less.

            [So, metaphorically speaking:]
            While the rose blooms along the river’s brink,
            With old Khayyam the ruby vintage drink,
            And when the angel with his darker draft
            Draws up to thee, take that, and do not shrink”

          • dannybhoy

            Yes indeed. And for very few of us the road to believing faith was straight or speedy.

          • betteroffoutofit

            “And for very few of us the road to believing faith was straight or speedy.” That’s right – ever since we chose to seek knowledge (science) of good and evil, we have wandered freely among global ‘issues’!

            I do believe, though, that an inherent “Search for Truth” must inform our scientific (knowledge-seeking) journeys. That way we can find and earn our way back to the Tree of Life.

            Marxists, and often other atheists, play Devil’s Advocate by using demoralisation and subversion to prevent that – without acknowledging the ancient source of their motive. They prefer to take the credit for their postmodern egos.

          • magnolia

            So you always say “yes” to your children? So they always understand your reasons?

          • Sarky

            Of course i don’t. The difference is i can explain the reasons why using evidence.

            Yes you can have fruit its good for you.
            No you can’t have sweets, too much sugar is bad for you.

            When they ask for something i don’t stay silent hoping they’ll work out what my answer might be.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            In His love and wisdom, God knows when to answer and when to wait. You do not. Besides, a general understanding of His answers have all been provided in Holy Writ.

          • Sarky

            And how do you know the difference between god and a voice in your head??
            How many evils have been committed because ‘god told me to do it’?

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Of course there are psychotics who think they hear God (or aliens or the FBI) speaking to them. I cannot speak for others, only for myself. Of course I had to learn to hear His voice (which can come in a thousand ways, not just in a human-like voice). The Lord has been consistent, comforting, and never wrong in His guidance.

            I believed in God (and Jesus as Savior) 65 years ago, even before I had powerful evidence (beyond that which we all have of an amazingly organized and beautiful universe). I cannot make anyone else accept my evidence for it has been very personal (answered prayers, miracles), but it has been immensely confirming of my faith over the past many years.

            How much evidence would you require, Sarky? What would convince you?

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Let us reason together.
            As science is constantly debating, sufficient evidence for one person does not necessarily constitute evidence for another. And as a psychologist I have frequent evidence that no amount of “proof” will convince people who do not want to be convinced — because they have already made up their mind. For example, there are
            college graduates who still believe in the “flat earth.”

            Billions of intelligent human beings have believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
            Jacob… and Jesus. And billions have not; but not even a consensus would convince
            most of these unbelievers.

            Therefore, those who insist on evidence for spiritual truths are only making an excuse because they do not WANT to believe. No amount of evidence will suffice for most of these people. What do atheists and Christians have in common? Both beliefs
            are based on “faith.” Because there is certainly as much evidence of God’s existence as there is evidence for God’s non-existence.

            From the Christian philosopher’s point of view: “It is not a case of proving first and then believing. We cannot believe theological truths for non-theological reasons. Rather, it is only when we encounter the living God in faith that we are in a
            position to grasp the truth of Christian faith. God then enables us to see with spiritual eyes what we could not previously see.
            The spirit is able to understand what the mind of the flesh is unable to conceive. The task of philosophical theology [and
            every attempt to integrate theology and science] is to examine the implications
            of this. It does so for the benefit of both the believer and the unbeliever, to enable them to see where matters stand. It is neither an alternative nor a short-cut to faith. It is more like an attempt to let faith take stock of its intellectual position.”
            –Professor Colin Brown (from “Philosophy and the Christian Faith”)

          • Sarky

            The thing is none of what you have offered is evidence that stands up to the scientific method. I.e. none of what you said can be tested.
            What you call god, i call gut feeling and my guts have served me well.
            god could easily prove his existence, but then christians have loads of convenient reasons why he won’t.

        • Bruce Atkinson

          Right, magnolia. Prayer is not some magic coin plunked into the divine snack machine in the sky. Prayer is about our relationship with a real and personal God. God also is sovereign and will answer according to His divine wisdom and what will benefit the most long term. Father forgive them for they don’t have a clue.

      • dannybhoy

        Oh of course prayer is powerful Sarks,
        New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition
        7 “He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. 8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

        Ephesians 6:18 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition

        18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.”

        Daniel 10New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition

        “I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; the people who were with me did not see the vision, though a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone to see this great vision. My strength left me, and my complexion grew deathly pale, and I retained no strength. 9 Then I heard the sound of his words; and when I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a trance, face to the ground.

        10 But then a hand touched me and roused me to my hands and knees. 11 He said to me, ‘Daniel, greatly beloved, pay attention to the words that I am going to speak to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.’ So while he was speaking this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 He said to me, ‘Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.”

        I believe in the power of prayer Sarks, I have had lots of answers to prayer and others that apparently haven’t been answered (as above!)
        I suspect there is a connection between God’s sovereignty and man’s (or in this case Theresa’s) free will, as Magnolia hints at.
        But the Bible tells us to pray for those in authority over us, and that’s what I do..

        • Linus

          See, that’s classic Pixtian “logic”.

          You claim prayer works, we respond that there’s absolutely no evidence of this and you supply verses from your Pixiebook as if they prove something.

          Just so you realise (which of course you do, but it does no harm to underline the fact), your Pixiebook provides no evidence of any kind to support the wild claims of your religion. It’s merely a series of unsubstantiated claims made without ANY supporting evidence.

          If you want to prove that prayer is efficacious then you’ll have to provide strong supporting evidence in the form of an independently reviewed study that shows consistently better outcomes when a desired result is prayed for.

          Do you have any such evidence? And I don’t mean your anecdotal claims that whenever you pray, you get what you want.

        • Sarky

          Come on Danny. There have been studies done with people in hospital prayed for and not prayed for. Ironically the ones not prayed for did better.

          • Linus

            Now that’s a study I’d like to study.

            As no plausible mechanism for the efficacity of prayer has ever been proposed (let alone established), it’s hard to see how it could be counterproductive.

            I would look to the methodology of your study to find out exactly what was ailing the patients who recovered and did not. If all the patients who were not prayed for were suffering from relatively benign ailments whereas those who were prayed for had terminal cancer, then the study’s result is hardy balanced.

            If however a similar range of serious and benign ailments were included in each group being studied then the greater incidence of negative outcomes for the prayed-for group could be due to disappointed hopes. If you’re sick and a Pixtian gets your hopes up by praying for you and assuring you that the Sky Pixie will make you all better, but your condition does not improve or gets worse, the disappointment is sure to exacerbate your health problems.

            Hope is key to positive long term health outcomes. When prayers for healing don’t come true, hope can be dealt a fatal blow.

            As I say however, the first thing to check would be the composition of each group.

          • Brian Kelly

            Really, Linus, why do you bother? Since you are persuaded that this life is the only one you will have before you and the rest of us depart into the oblivion of non-existence, wouldn’t it be ‘better’ (using that word in its Benthamite sense) for you to occupy your remaining years/days/hours on your hedonic calculus? Or does parading your bitterness, anger and despair about existence here give you pleasure? Think, man! Go off and ‘enjoy’ yourself – before disease, Alzheimer’s and the grim reaper bear everything away!

          • Linus

            I enjoy my life greatly. But due to the existence of your vile and hateful religions, other LGBT individuals are not so lucky.

            I therefore derive great enjoyment from warning them against the consequences of giving Pixtians any kind of control or influence over their lives.

            Few are as lucky as I am to have been born in a milieu where the fraud that is Pixtianity was revealed in such a clear and incontrovertible manner. If I can help my fellow man to throw off the shackles of religious bigotry, my enjoyment of life will be amplified even further.

          • Brian Kelly

            But Linus – you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Nobody is upset here by your railing and you make no converts. You are caught in bitterness of soul and you need to think again. And if we are all bound to the same fate – oblivion – then you are peeing into a hurricane. Stop being so angry and start enjoying the rest of your life!

          • Linus

            You think my input here is aimed at you?

            See, I´ve always said that Pixtians are the ultimate narcissists. Here’s even more evidence for that, if any more were needed.

            I won’t repeat myself because you’re not worth the trouble, but if you want to know why I post here, you’ll find the answer on this thread.

            Suffice to say that I have no intention of trying to convert you. Your delusion is beyond the reach of all attempts to reason with it. What I can do however is use that delusion to demonstrate the sheer lunacy of Pixtians and why they should be avoided like the plague.

            The number of individuals I’ve saved from Pixtian clutches is considerable. This knowledge adds greatly to my enjoyment of life. It feels good to be of use to one’s fellow man. The fact that the game resembles Whack-A-Mole more than anything else is neither here nor there.

            When you smash one Pixtian myth, another 5 pop up to take its place, but the people you’ve saved from falling for the first fairy tale will be less likely to fall for others because they’ll be on the lookout for fraud, manipulation and misrepresentation. Once innoculated against Pixtianity, always innoculated against it. To change the metaphor slightly, the number of “fish” I have tucked securely up my sleeve safe from the depredations of marauding, cheating, dishonest and dishonorable Pixtians never ceases to grow as the game proceeds.

          • Brian Kelly

            Poor chap, you do sound very bitter and angry, even consumed with hate. These are not good emotions and will take a toll on you. Try to stop hating and start loving others.

          • dannybhoy

            Kelly – a good ould Irish name!

          • Sarky
          • Linus

            Thank you for the link.

            Of course the Pixtian “loophole” is immediately apparent. The intercessory prayer clearly can’t have been provided by true believers.

            If the prayer was provided by one sect, other sects will declare it inefficacious. The authorities of the participating sect(s) will declare such a study to be blasphemous (because how dare anyone test Sky Pixie?) therefore they will claim the result does not reflect reality because Sky Pixie will have ensured an outcome that points to prayer being inefficacious in order to harden the hearts of the Atheists and/or heretics who designed the test.

            See. Whatever the outcome of scientific testing, the truly determined Pixtian will find a way of explaining away anything that conflicts with his dogmatic beliefs. You can’t use reason and logic to get through to these people. They’re a lost cause.

          • Sarky

            Yep, we provide evidence, they provide fairytales.

          • Linus

            That’s about the size of it. No matter how solid your data, you can’t argue with dogmatic faith. That’s why all dialogue with these deluded fantasists is doomed to descend into conflict and confrontation.

            The Atheist who thinks he can persuade a convinced Pixtian with facts and figures is fooling himself. But what we can do is state our case knowing that many who look at blogs like this one are not convinced Pixtians and will therefore be persuaded by our arguments. This will help them to avoid the terrible fate of being sucked into the black hole of Pixtian delusion from which there is no escape.

            The determination of the narcissistic Pixtian (or Jupixtian, or Pixlim) believer always to be RIGHT is by far the strongest force known to Man. If we could harness it and convert it into useable energy, nuclear power and research into fusion reactors could be abandoned overnight.

          • Inspector General

            “There is, however, one element, which might be unique to homosexuals: the fact that their self-definition hinges on their sexual identity. I know of no heterosexual who would use his sexual preferences to define himself almost fully. Homosexuality has been inflated to the level of a sub-culture, a separate psychology, or a myth. This is typical of persecuted minorities. However, it does have a feedback influence on the individual. Preoccupation with body and sex would tend to narrow down the types of narcissism available to homosexuals.”
            https://mental-health-matters.com/narcissism-faq-homosexual-narcissists/

          • dannybhoy

            Sarky,
            Sir Anthony Flew
            https://strangenotions.com/flew/
            Wehrner von Braun
            http://mobile.wnd.com/2017/06/famous-scientists-research-confirmed-belief-in-god/
            Richard Feynman:
            “The answer to this question lies in recognizing the limits of science:
            I do not believe that science can disprove the existence of God; I think that is impossible. And if it is impossible, is not a belief in science and in a God — an ordinary God of religion — a consistent possibility?”
            http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/how-scientists-can-believe-in-god
            Francis Collins:
            “One of the most respected scientists in the field of genetic research, Collins was a self-described ‘obnoxious atheist’ in his academic days. During this stage in his life, it seemed clear to Collins that science had all of the answers. Any questions about life and the universe could ultimately be reduced to physics and chemistry.”
            https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/How-a-world-famous-geneticist-went-from-staunch-atheist-to-Christian-convert

            “The ultimate irony, needless to say, is that Charles Darwin said he believed in God. Let’s face it: most intelligent people believe in God, as did most world leaders in the past. My uncle, a war hero in the Albanian campaign when we wiped out the Italians, once told me that he had never seen courage like that shown by priests and medical orderlies in the thick of battle.”

            https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/12/atheism-may-be-fashionable-but-most-intelligent-people-believe-in-god/

          • Ian Pixt

            And we all lived happily ever after. Except you. And the Frog Prince Linus, because he was such an obnoxious twerp that no-one would kiss him. The End.

          • Ian Pixt

            Has anyone seen my cause? I had it just now… please pray that I find it. Ah, here it is!

          • dannybhoy

            You must remember that as I believe in a cause and effect world in which people are not born as a direct command of God e.g. it’s not God’s decree that I have been born ugly and you erm… uglier, it’s genetics.
            Just so we all have to die, and for true Christians it’s about whether or not God still has work for us to do here on earth or whether for some other reason it’s time to call us home.
            I’m sure you remember John 3:16
            “‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
            So it’s not just about having our sins forgiven and receiving the Holy Spirit as our friend and mentor that we may work with God rather than against Him in this His world; it’s about being adopted into His family and preparing for eternal life in His universe.

            The ‘pull’ as Christian human beings is losing people that we dearly love. We don’t want them to die, we want them to live. Sometimes even though we know they have a terrible disease we still hope against hope that they will survive.
            Even our Lord was distressed when he heard about the death of Lazarus, but He was able to raise him from the dead, and Lazarus would experience physical death again..
            I love being alive. I love my wife -the better part of me, I love our little house and the garden with a field right behind it. But it all belongs to God. All that we have belongs to Him and we are stewards of it.
            So when my time approaches – probably a heart attack through the COPD or as a form of drowning because my lungs can no longer function, I still believe that is not the end of my life.
            Like the caterpillar becoming the chrysalis, becoming the butterfly, my faith is that my life will continue from a physical body into a transformed body just like Jesus.

          • Sarky

            Don’t really understand what that has to do with the efficacy of prayer?

          • dannybhoy

            Because prayer requires faith Sarky. Prayer is like having an audience with the King, involving praise and worship and bringing your concerns and petitions to Him.
            If you don’t believe then you won’t understand.

          • Anna

            The devil conducted a similar study with Jesus. Read all about it in Matthew 4:1-11. I would be interested to know whether these intercessors agreed to be part of the study.

            “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16)

            Not all prayers are equally efficacious – faith, obedience and fervency all matter when we make requests. The benefits of a prayerful lifestyle is experienced over a lifetime, and these benefits include having your prayers heard by God. God is sovereign over our lives and He sometimes chooses not to answer our prayers in the way we might want, but His answers are always to our benefit.

          • Sarky

            Its such a cop out isnt it??

            If your prayer is ‘answered’ then god listened. If it’s not answered, then whatever happens is to your benefit anyway!!

            I could pray to my dog and get the same results.

          • Anna

            Do you pray to your dog?

            “If your prayer is ‘answered’ then god listened.”
            God is a wise Father, and He makes His decisions keeping eternity in view.

          • Sarky

            Do i pray to my dog?? Erm, yeah of course i do??

            The problem is christians cant lose when arguing for prayer. If god listens, its his will. If he doesnt, its his will.
            By thinking like this, you never have to confront the fact that prayer doesnt work.
            Us atheists can see right through it, why cant you??

          • Anna

            “Do i pray to my dog?? Erm, yeah of course i do??”
            Thought you might.

            “By thinking like this, you never have to confront the fact that prayer doesnt work.
            Us atheists can see right through it, why cant you??”

            The point is prayer does work, and it is not all about presenting your shopping list to God. The strength, peace and joy that we receive makes us realise that there is more to prayer than just getting things from God. Faith brings purpose and meaning to our lives; we are able to live differently because we believe. Sadly, it is very hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced this life- you have to find our for yourself.

          • Sarky

            Prayer doesnt work.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567

            I posted this earlier.

            As for your last sentance i grew up in a christian family and my life now has more purpose and meaning than it ever did.

          • Anna

            Saw that link before I posted my initial reply. There are too many variables that the investigators cannot control for. In any case, single study is hardly conclusive…

          • Sarky

            This study cost 2.4 million dollers, was done over a decade and involved 1800 people. What more do you want???

          • dannybhoy

            So much so that you have to spend a great deal of time blogging with Christians you think are ignorant, out of touch and unwilling to face reality..

          • Sarky

            Why does it always come back to why I’m here?? I’ve explained many many times.

          • dannybhoy

            Well tell us again then because some of us have short term memory loss and others of us can’t make sense of a man who rejects something he spends hours and hours attacking….

          • dannybhoy

            Because if you’d have bothered to read some of those quotes
            I gave you, you have read that some of the greatest minds recognised that it is not unreasonable to believe in a Creator/Supreme Being..

          • Sarky

            And some of the greatest minds have recognised that it is.

          • dannybhoy

            Quite so, but many/most of the world’s population think that it’s far more logical to believe in God or gods than to believe that all this amazing universe with its incredible complexity of life forms just happened, just appeared from nothing.
            It’s truly stoopid and most people acknowledge that it is stoopid.
            Why do you think after years of brainwashing, indoctrination,attacks on churches and priests, and aggressive persecution no overtly atheistic nation has survived and flourished?

          • Sarky

            China?

          • dannybhoy

            That’s coercive, a controlling Communist party that uses draconian force to keep people under control. I’m talking about a free atheistic society with no need of religion..

          • Sarky

            Denmark, sweden, Norway.

          • dannybhoy

            Of all the religions in Denmark, the most prominent is Christianity in the form of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark (Dansk Folkekirke), the state religion. Hence, Denmark is a non-secular state as there is a clear link between the church and the state with a Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs.
            Religion in Denmark – Wikipedia

            10 FUNDAMENTALS OF RELIGION IN SWEDEN
            Sweden is relatively secular and has a high population of atheists, but it is far from an irreligious country. Religion still plays a ritual and cultural role, and with immigration, the religious landscape becomes more diverse and complex. Here are ten takes on religion in Sweden.

            Religion in Norway is mostly Evangelical Lutheran Christianity, with 71.5% of the population officially belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway in 2016.[1] The Catholic Church is the next largest Christian church at 2.4%.[2] The officially unaffiliated make up 13.0% of the population.[3] Islam is followed by 2.4% of the population.[3]

            A bill passed in 2016 and effective as of 1 January 2017 created the Church of Norway as an independent legal entity.[5][6] Until the 2012 constitutional amendment the Evangelical-Lutheran religion was the public religion of the State.[7][8][9][10] The Church of Norway will still obtain financial support from the state of Norway, along with other religious communities
            ( But granted Norway and Sweden are irreligious, although they anticipate a flood of converts to Islam….)

          • dannybhoy

            No, you couldn’t.
            We can see dogs and know their limitations.
            And er, they probably know yours.. ;0)

          • Merchantman

            ‘Ironically the ones not prayed for…’ As the Left say- Reference?

          • Sarky

            Does it?? Or have you just convinced yourself it does despite the evidence against it?

    • Linus

      Ah, the total inefficacy of prayer…

      Sky Pixie answers all prayers, Pixtians will object. Of course he doesn’t, because he doesn’t exist. But if he did, the evidence would point to his total disregard for the pleadings and wheedlings of his followers.

      Pray for whatever you like. It will make no difference to whether you obtain it or not.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Keep praying.

  • magnolia

    Ah, the wonders of Great Ranting. Is that where Maximilian Keiser gets paid…..paid (how does he get to those heights) to rant? No one will pay me to rant. Some might even pay me not to rant, though I think the Inspector might command a higher price not to rant, and as for Linus he is lining up for pole position on the being paid not to rant leader board potentially raking in the Napoléons d’or per non-rant day.

    • Linus

      [Splutter!]

      You think someone in my position would ever deign to accept coin bearing the head of a Bonaparte?

      In any case, offer me louis d’or, livres tournois or Narnian lions and trees and I still won’t renounce posting here. The truth has no price and cannot be purchased for mere coin.

      • Chefofsinners

        And you are most warmly welcome here. You make the rest of us look so clever.

  • Chefofsinners

    Poor, dear Melanoma. Just trying to bring a little sunshine to the bedraggled of Texas with her message of hope: There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong couture.
    Of course President Bush said it best with his famous slogan “Watch my lips. No more Texas.” And the flying of the Confederate flag was simply to confirm the well known saying “Houston, we have a pogrom.”
    The Hurricane is not all bad, though. He scored twice for England last night against Lithuania.

    Meanwhile a noxious gas has poisoned the British coastline. Initially it was thought to have emanated from France, for obvious reasons. However, it is now believed to have come from the shipwreck of Mrs May’s election campaign, lying full fathom five off the coast of Europe. Flying under the flag of convenience, this tired hulk of a dirty British coaster plans to stay on for a full term, she tells us.

    The heart leapt this week at news that the Big Ben Bong would be silenced for five years. We’ve heard quite enough from North Korea recently. That chap’s been firing blanks again and he now seems to be capable of stopping play at The Oval, threatening the very foundations of civilisation. Fortunately the UN has issued it’s strongest ever condemnation: “Oh I say! Poor show!”

    • dannybhoy

      (Kim Jon Il)
      “I fired and arrow into the air, it fell to earth I know not where. But I hope somewhere near the Oval..”

      • dannybhoy

        Breaking news”
        “Man arrested over Oval crossbow incident”
        The Guardian
        The villain is pale with a ’40s haircut and dressed all in black.
        Says he is Il and can he have his arrow back..

        • Chefofsinners

          ‘Tis Robin in disguise, come to rid us of the evil sheriff.

    • Manfarang

      The gas didn’t come from the nearby beached WW1 U-boat.

  • He has donated one million dollars of his own money to the rescue fund – howls from the left that it is not enough

    Imagine the bedlam if Trump ordered that the money be given only to his supporters.

    Kosher Catering Companies From Across US Head to Houston to Serve Free Food to Jews Affected by Hurricane Harvey—The Algemeiner

    Bless, they’re following their putrid religion to the letter. Israel Shahak, writing in Jewish History, Jewish Religion:

    As for Gentiles, the basic talmudic principle is that their lives must not be saved, although it is also forbidden to murder them outright. The Talmud itself expresses this in the maxim ‘Gentiles are neither to be lifted [out of a well] not hauled down [into it].’ Maimonides explains:

    ‘As for Gentiles with whom we are not at war…their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death…for it is written: “neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy fellow”—but [a Gentile] is not thy fellow.’

    • dannybhoy

      The Talmud lacks divine endorsement Johnny..

      • @ dannybhoy—Maimonides cites Leviticus. I’m no biblical scholar but I expect Leviticus has the Almighty’s seal of approval.

        • dannybhoy

          It’s all in the interpretation though.
          Evangelicals like me see the Scripture as the bedrock of our faith, and certainly we do interpret it in the light of our culture and understanding, but ultimately our interpretation and application must not deviate from the clear sense of Scripture, because you then end up with ‘situation ethics’, as in a sense the CofE is moving towards.
          One could say that whether Jew or Christian the issue is whether we rely on the Scriptures as our compass or on the interpretations thereof.
          http://www.bible.ca/cr-judaism-jews-mosaic-rabbinical.htm

    • Linus

      Here in France helping those in danger is a legal obligation. Failure to do without a real and present danger to one’s own safety will result in a prosecution for the crime of non-assistance à une personne en danger.

      Be you Atheist, Pixtian, Jupixtian, Pixslim or of any faith whatsoever, the law applies equally to all.

      See how secular government is vastly superior to theocracy?

      • Brian Kelly

        Well, secular government didn’t work out too well in Germany 1933-45 or the Soviet Union 1921-1991 – or Communist China 1949 to the present. Fortunately (ha!) Christianity has returned to public life in Russia after decades of persecution by atheists. Even ‘Communist’ China has been looking to Christianity to engender a sense of social responsibility now nobody believes in communism.

        • Linus

          Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Communist China all had forms of government resembling classic theocracies. Their religions were Sky Pixie-less, but dogmatic religions nonetheless.

          Secular government sets the whole idea of religion aside and bases its legitimacy on common consent. There are no tenets of belief, merely negotiations between the constituent groups that make up the people governed. They each indicate what they will and will not accept and a compromise is reached that everyone can live with.

          There has never been a secular dictatorship because it’s a contradiction in terms. True secular government is government by consensus.

          • Brian Kelly

            You’re talking rubbish, Linus, defining ‘religion’ to include anti-religious states like Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Communist China. That evasion won’t do. If everything is ‘religion’, then nothing is ‘religion’.
            Or turn that on its head: your naïve belief in the sufficiency of human reason to settle matters of truth and your naïve belief that being ‘human’ is the ‘summit’ of existence are unsustainable. 1. The universe is endlessly greater and more complex and mysterious than your 18th century ‘philosophes’ imagined. As a self-proclaimed sceptic, the first (and maybe only) thing you should claim to know is your ignorance. But you lack the humility to say so. Learn from Pascal, not Voltaire. 2. The only logically consistent position an atheist should have is moral relativism and moral scepticism and nihilism. If there is no transcendent basis for moral judgments (of which you are over-brimming – you are a very judgmental person), then your ‘moral judgments’ are no more than an expression of emotion – of the things you like or dislike. Without the eternal God, moral assertions are simply emotions. Learn from Hume and R. M. Hare. (And if you eat meat – why are you more important than the animals you have killed for your appetite? After all, you are just one animal among many, many species.)
            I could continue, but I suspect you haven’t even understood the dimensions of the problem – perhaps because your moral world was once (and is still partially) shaped by Christianity and you want some of the fruits of that faith but not the roots. Learn from Sartre (and shudder). Life without the Triune Creator God is meaningless and fractured. Again, learn from Pascal – and Kierkegaard. And yes, Emmanuel Levinas. Your vision is much, much too small.

          • dannybhoy

            Excellent Brian, and thank you for contributing!

          • David

            Nicely put Brian.

          • Linus

            Another ad hominem Pixtian tirade that relies on contempt and insult to make its point. You preach love and compassion and then act with pride, anger and contempt. Pharisees and hypocrites to a man, that’s what you are.

            Human reason is all we’ve got to work out what the truth is, so no matter how fallible that reason may be, there’s no other way of arriving at any meaningful conclusion about anything.

            We may not be the ultimate intelligence in the universe, but we know of no other. So until a higher power makes itself known to us by means perceptible to our reason, as far as we’re concerned, it’s irrelevant to our existence. In the meantime, the buck stops with us. That’s not arrogance, it’s pragmatism. No other form of life we know of is capable of comprehending the world in the way we comprehend it, so who else but us can make decisions about how to live our lives?

            As for your assertion that no moral judgments can be made if there isn’t a sky pixie to make morality absolute, that kind of absolutist argument is easily debunked. Our concept of morality is founded in our nature as social animals. What benefits the group is considered moral. What harms it is considered immoral. Moral acts involve altruistic behaviours because altruism favours group cohesion and prosperity. Immoral acts involve selfish behaviours because selfishness weakens group cohesion and endangers group security. When our good is set against the good of other species, our good wins. Thus the eating of meat is a perfectly moral act. Indeed without the concentrated nutrition provided by a meat diet, anthropologists are unanimous in confirming that our brains could not have evolved as they did. Had our ancestors stuck to a vegetarian diet, it’s unlikely we’d be capable of understanding the concept of morality, let alone arguing about what constitutes moral behaviour. Know many sheep with whom you can discuss the finer points of moral philosophy?

            We are who we are because of how we evolved. If intelligent beings exist elsewhere in the universe and their nature is different to ours, eg. they’re solitary like cats rather than gregarious like humans, one would expect their morality to be different to ours. We won’t know until until we encounter such beings, if ever we do. Until then, all we can rely on to consider such ideas is our own reason. There is no other kind that we know of.

            And as for Pixtian claims that only your Sky Pixie gives meaning to human life, the sheer ludicrousness of such a statement always makes me wonder whether Pixtians are in possession of any reason at all. My life is full of meaning and I need no imaginary superhero to look up to in order to make it worth living. Only children need a daddy figure who’ll make everything alright and protect them from big bad monsters. Only children pretend their daddy knows everything and has the answers to every question. And only nutcases invent a daddy who quite simply isn’t there and then bow down and worship him out of fear that he’ll send them to some kind of fiery torture for all eternity if they don’t appease him and obey his arbitrary moral diktats.

            I’m an adult, not a child. I admit I don’t have all the answers but why should I have them all? I’m willing to face my ignorance and I’m certainly not afraid or ashamed of it. You on the other hand are a child playing a game of “let’s pretend there’s a big daddy sky pixie to hold my hand and tell me what to do”. No matter that the Pixiebook containing the legends you claim to believe in was written by humans and is about as convincing as Harry Potter or a Tolkien fairytale. It gives you what you most want: reassurance.

            Cowards and scaredy-cats these Pixtians, aren’t they?

          • Brian Kelly

            ‘Contempt and insult’? Linus, you’re the one who contemptuously insults belief in God as believing in a ‘sky pixie’. You do this only to be rude, like a schoolboy, not to be taken seriously. You have very little self-knowledge. Nowhere have I ‘insulted’ you; I have only pointed out (a few of) the flaws in your ideas, as well as noting the anger and bitterness in your words. This is not contempt any more than antiseptic on an infection is ‘harmful’ – to bacteria, yes, but not to the body. I will briefly answer some of your claims, not to convince you, but to assure you that your ideas are not only very ‘old hat’ (straight out of Diderot) and not up to speed but not very profound either.
            1. Christians do in fact believe that a ‘higher power perceptible to reason’ has already made itself (or rather Himself) known to us and that that ‘higher power’ has a human face, called Jesus Christ. It is not contrary to ‘reason’ that God should speak to us and reveal His mind to our minds. Reason (‘logos’) is one of God’s creations; and you can only know what a mind is thinking if it uses speech.
            2. Every informed atheist understands that the space-time world is contingent and is infinitely vaster and more complex than he can comprehend – and that the sum of facts that he does NOT know overwhelms the things he does ‘know’ – and I put speech marks around ‘know’ because if you anything about the history of epistemology, you will understand how immense the problems are. Descartes didn’t know the smallest part of it! But just to give a tiny taster: if naturalistic evolution is true, then our brains have evolved to allow us to survive – not to tell us the ‘truth’ (transcendent realities). And if that is so, there really is no reason to believe that our brains tell us the truth about the world ‘out there’, only that they provide us with survival mechanisms. But ‘les philosophes’ didn’t know this. The whole thing is explained by Alvin Plantinga on a lecture on naturalism on the web.
            3. You have completely misunderstood the point about moral nihilism, moral relativism and moral emotivism. You confuse consequence with principle. So what if eating meat helps my brain develop? Why should a sheep or cow care about my brain? If morality is nothing other than a socio-biological construct to allow the continuation of a species, then the ‘moral’ thing to do is to wipe out all lesser specimens (the physically defective, the aged and those that cannot or will not breed —- hang on, wasn’t this tried before in Europe?). Let’s face it, the world could easily do without most of its seven billion humans, so talk about ‘selfishness’ and ‘group cohesion’ doesn’t convince. Animals don’t look after their sick. Some birds even kill their weak chicks and feed them to the stronger in the brood. If you are upset by this proposal, that is just an emotive reaction. You do not seem to understand that fro the atheist, moral language is illusory and has no basis in objective fact. You have been deceived by your old habits of Christian language – ‘guilt’, ‘praise’, ‘blame’, ‘judgment’ – into thinking these things mean more than emotions. But they can’t if there is no meeting with God after death. Kant understood this very well.

          • Linus

            Of course the moral terminology we use is nothing more than convenient shorthand to describe emotion. What else could it be?

            But what is emotion? It’s a physical response of complex social animals to environmental factors. It has evolved to make us react in specific ways to specific stimuli in order to promote survival and regulate group interactions.

            What is morality? It’s a set of instinctive and learned reactions to stimuli that serves to bind groups together and promote their survival. That human morality generally influences us to look after our sick has a perfectly logical evolutionary explanation. As complex social animals with individual identities, we must be convinced that the group will look after us in order to be convinced that the group is worth looking after. Self-awareness and group awareness must be reconciled to promote survival, so if we are to make an effort for the group, the group must be prepared to make an effort for us. When it does, chances of long-term existence for the group are greatly increased.

            But that’s not enough for you. Your individual identity has become pathologically self-obsessed and cannot accept that it’s neither the centre of the universe nor eternal. You think you’re special, although faced with daily proof of your mortality and impotence, the modicum of reason you still possess can’t persuade itself that you yourself are a god. So you invent a Sky Pixie in your own image and try to convince yourself that if you wheedle, whine, flatter and appease this perfect being (who looks just like you – or at least how you imagine you should be), he’ll ensure your eternal continuation in some kind of drugged-up bliss-gasm where nothing unpleasant will ever happen to you ever again.

            That’s all your noble and lofty religion boils down to. Naked self-interest. Sky Pixie is your ticket to paradise. And boy do you HATE anyone who calls that trip into question.

          • Brian Kelly

            Linus, you demonstrate again what I mean by your anger and contempt, using childish schoolboy taunts like ‘Sky Pixie’ instead of communicating like an adult. You need to grow up here. That aside, once again, you have entirely failed to understand and interact with my points that for the atheist ‘morality’ is entirely an evolutionary group survival mechanism (this is the unprovable reductionism that lies behind all naturalistic explanations and is a sign of its self-defeating poverty of thought). If that is all there is to ‘morality’ – choose another one! As I said, most of the sick, aged and non-breeding human race is of NO HELP to ‘the group’ – and therefore ‘the group’ should get rid of the degeneracy.
            Needless to say, I don’t believe that naturalistic fiction – but that is what your Eugenics leads you to. You can’t really deny it, Linus. Even prattling about ‘rights’ all the time doesn’t convince – because as a moral nihilist and materialist you should understand that ‘rights’ have NO OBJECTIVE EXISTENCE – they are only the epiphenomena of religious belief that there is a God who establishes a Law for his world and will punish those rational creatures who culpably violate it.
            Think about it, Linus: if you are an atheist, then:
            Rights. Do. Not. Exist. – for the atheist materialist, ‘rights’ are only social constructions and fictions. You can’t see, taste, smell or touch a ‘right’.
            ‘Rights’ (like ‘to deon’ in moral theory) only exist as facts if human beings are made by a moral, rational Creator with an Obligation (Greek: to deon) to treat other human beings (and other creatures) in a particular way.
            That’s why we don’t call animals ‘murderers’ when they kill other animals to eat them.
            As for your Feuerbachian ramble – I wan’t bother to answer your speculations about my mental state.
            I am just surprised at how little you understand about ethical theory.

          • Linus

            Who are you to tell anyone they need to grow up, you pretentious git? The moral high ground you think you occupy is nothing more than a sense of entitlement accompanied by a superiority complex as hideous and inappropriate as that straggly, dirty-looking beard you sport. A “real man” would have sufficient testosterone to fill in the patches. He would impress. You do not.

            The term Sky Pixie conveys exactly what I mean it to. Of course it lacks respect: that’s the whole point. Your childish concept of deity deserves no respect and I will not be held to ransom by your need for everybody to bow to your fantasy by according it a respectful name. Deities are figments of the imagination. You worship a figment of your imagination therefore it’s perfectly appropriate for me to refer to it as a Sky Pixie. The term perfectly conveys the contempt I mean it to.

            Don’t like that? Well poor little you! Go ahead and throw a tantrum like a spoiled child when other kids won’t play his game.

            As for the rest of your juvenile “Philosophy 101” arguments, most of them don’t deserve a response, but I will address two of them.

            I’ve already explained why the sick, the elderly and the disabled have their place in human societies. There is nothing in that explanation that even remotely resembles the concept of “eugenics”, which you mentioned with the aim of tarring me with a Nazi brush. As with all religious demagogues your aim is to shout down opposition and no calumny or insult is too excessive in order to achieve that aim. Not only are you an intellectual child, you’re a vicious one too.

            And secondly: Rights. Do. Exist. Not as some sacred shibboleth created by your imaginary Sky Pixie. But as a consensus of opinion among self-aware beings who agree that the good of society requires that each individual be accorded basic freedoms in the measure that no harm is caused to any other individual.

            No Sky Pixie is needed to give substance to rights. They are the fruit of negotiation, agreement and mutually recognised convention between humans.

            Put more simply, your Sky Pixie just isn’t needed to make human societies function. We can manage perfectly well on our own. And we do.

          • Brian Kelly

            Well, Linus, I will pass over your childish outbursts and insults. I meant of course your lack of respect for people who think differently from you. You have evidently been hurt in your life from a perceived lack of respect for yourself but fail to see that you have a reciprocal duty to respect others. But I will let that be. Maybe you will mature with time and helpful friendships.
            As for my so-called ‘Philosophy 101 arguments’: no, you wouldn’t find many first year students who knew and understood Meta-Ethics. They’re a bit more advanced than that – especially my reflections on moral nihilism, moral relativism and moral emotivism – which are not original but come from reflecting over the years on Pascal, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Kant and most recently Emmanuel Levinas, as well as Plato and Augustine. And I will add that C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man’ is one of the most insightful and accessible discussions of this point. Have you ever read it?
            But I think you grasp my basic point: that for atheists there CANNOT be such a thing as objective moral values – the clue is in the word ‘objective’ since there is no doubt that all human beings have ‘moral values’, the only question is what is their basis? You offer an evolutionary socio-biological explanation which really amounts to saying ‘Whatever helps the herd/species to survive.’
            Of course this is entirely circular, unproved and unprovable, and amounts to no more than saying ‘Whatever is, is right’ – the classic cry of the Enlightenment. And if the herd invents one set of ‘rights’ one day, on another day it can take them away. This is exactly what the history of Communism showed in the 20th century. That is what I meant by saying that objectively speaking, ‘Rights. Do. Not. Exist.’ They are merely the social construction of a particular group at a particular time.
            In my younger days I studied a lot of French literature of the atheist existentialist kind – Sartre and Camus. It’s an unfashionable philosophy now but it did spell out with clarity that life without God is, in the technical sense, absurd and devoid of meaning and purpose. Providentially, I also studied Pascal at that time and found the direction, meaning and joy that was missing from the atheists.
            God is not just the Principle of creation (you know the world is contingent and had a beginning from a powerful cause that necessarily preceded it) and the Objective Foundation of morality (if all human life has the same fate, then words like ‘justice’ are really meaningless – as Kant showed powerfully), He is also the Lover of the human race – and His love is found in the face of Jesus Christ. This was the revelation that Plato and all the other philosophers needed – the Logos become flesh.

          • You mean secular democratic government. Secular government is any government without religious or spiritual connections. Common consent has nothing to do with being secular.

          • Linus

            Common consent is what confers legitimacy on a secular form of government. Theocratic or monarchical regimes claim divine legitimacy.

            Secular describes anything that is not religious or sacred. But sanctity does not always go hand-in-hand with a belief in sky pixies. Two atheistic forms of government, Nazism and communism, incorporated many beliefs that were viewed as sacred by those who held them despite the sky-pixielessness of both types of regime.

            Modern secular government is not built on sacred cows but rather on the common consent of the governed. This poses a problem for religious believers who labour under the delusion that an absolute form of authority emanates from their particular flavour of sky pixie. They can’t comprehend a mindset that does not recognise absolute authority and a system where consensus rather than holy law determines how we are governed.

            The Pixtian who accuses secularists of believing in some weird kind of sky-pixieless religion with holy laws like equality and diversity is missing the point completely. These are not holy laws but rather a pragmatic recognition that in order to live in peace together, each group in society must be accorded the right to live according to its lights as long as it does not interfere with the right of other groups to do the same and the right of the individual to self-determination. The only other alternative is for one group to try and impose its rules on all the others, and that is a sure-fire path to conflict and social disorder.

          • Linus

            There is so much that is naive about your thinking here.

            Government by commomon consent is simply democracy. It is in Christian countries, especially Protestant Christian countries that democracies flourished. Cromwell’s (a Christian) government, was a parliamentary democracy, the first in Britain. Christians are not opposed in principle to democratic government; they have facilitated it.

            You idealise government by consensus. You seem to imagine some abstract secular government into which all buy. Such governments don’t exist. Even our modern democratic governments don’t exist without citizens being opposed to their values. People may not revolt against them for a variety of reasons (largely because they are economically reasonably satisfied) but that does not mean they are at one with its values. Indeed the values of the ruling establishment in a democracy may actually be against that of the majority of the citizens. Capital punishment is a case in point. Further, even in a relatively benign democratic democracy many are afraid to express their views because there is a price to pay.

            Whatever government exists treats its values as sacral. Tolerance only exists to a point. Attack its sacred cows and you will pay a price.

            ‘These are not holy laws but rather a pragmatic recognition that in order to live in peace together, each group in society must be accorded the right to live according to its lights as long as it does not interfere with the right of other groups to do the same and the right of the individual to self-determination’

            No, there are holy laws. Same -sex marriage is an example of a present holy law. But more importantly, the rights of different competing groups do inevitably come into conflict. My right (societally) to view homosexuality (I choose this since it is a subject close to your heart) as a societal evil and to object to it being celebrated comes into conflict with your right (societally) to seek its celebration. Whose ‘rights’ should prevail.

            I may add that your statement about rights is in your mind absolute. It should be, in your view, a given of government. It is for you a holy immutable law. What if the consensus was that such ‘rights’ is a mistaken value? What if the consensus says that only its views have any rights or legitimacy? And this kind of intolerant thinking seems to be increasing. Is government by consensus still legitimate?

            The truth is, in our fallen world, government is power based. Power forms governments and power topples governments. The most powerful rule. Built in checks and balances in society help to control the powerful to a degree and that is good but this control is at best precarious. Indeed it may well be an illusion. Consensus government is an illusion. Today, a liberal humanism that celebrates the freedom of the individual over the wellbeing of society is the dominant ‘power’. It rules in all the corridors of power (parliament, the judiciary, the media). Any views that threaten this orthodoxy are anathema and those that hold them will be given no voice or influence. Even if the majority of our citizens do not buy into this libertinism (and I suspect they don’t) their voice will be ignored for the institutions of power are dominated by those who do. In a word, I doubt if our so-called consensus government really represents the people… is it therefore illegitimate?

          • Linus

            “My right (societally) to view homosexuality (I choose this since it is a subject close to your heart) as a societal evil and to object to it being celebrated comes into conflict with your right (societally) to seek its celebration. Whose ‘rights’ should prevail.”

            Mine.

            Why?

            Because I’m gay and if you make homosexuality illegal and put me in jail then you prevent me from living my life according to my lights. You impose your morality on me. This the LGBT community will never again accept, so any regime that tried to make homosexuality illegal – even if it were the result of a democratic vote – would lose the cooperation of the LGBT community, which would fight to regain its rights. And I mean fight.

            We’re a small minority, but we’re everywhere and believe me, we could – and would – make your lives a complete misery. And guess what? You keep replenishing our ranks. We grow up among you and can hide among you. In the past you managed to keep us quiet by adopting a policy of “isolate, denigrate and rule”. But in these days of instantaneous communication we’re no longer isolated in the midst of homophobic families who drill self-hatred into us to keep us under their thumb. We can talk to each other and we form support networks and online communities that would make us very, very difficult to control.

            If you tried to crush us, you’d never have a tranquil moment in your life again. If all the online surveillance in the world can’t prevent a few hundred radical Islamists from planning and carrying out terrorist attacks, how much less effective would it be when faced with the hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals who would make up an LGBT resistance movement?

            Of course this won’t happen because people are sensible enough to realise that giving gay people the right to live our lives as we see fit in no way impinges on the rights of homophobes like you to be as homophobic as you like. What you want goes beyond the right to be homophobic. You also want the right to force us to live by your homophobic rules. Nothing in the law as it stands forces you to alter your way of life in any way. The only constraint imposed on you is the duty of non-discrimination in the provision of goods and services. But even this does not impinge on your right to hate and disapprove of gay people. Or Muslims. Or black people. Or anyone else.

            Respecting my rights has little or no impact on your right to live your life as you see fit, as long as you harm nobody else. But if society accords you the right to suppress public recognition of homosexuality, you profoundly impinge on my right to live my life as I see fit. That’s why my rights trump yours.

          • Personally, I am unsure what freedom should be given to homosexual practice. I suspect my position is more in favour of tolerating but not celebrating it, as we now seem to be required to do.

            However, you reveal you do not really believe in what you call consensus secular government. You approve of it only so long as it supports you. There you are being honest and all the defence of so-called legitimate government is hogwash; it is legitimate only if it supports you.

            I think you are fanciful if you think there is sufficient numbers of LGBT folks to stage a revolution. Even if all supported revolution and that’s unlikely we are still only talking of less than 5% of society. Revolution is a non-starter.

            But you’re right, this won’t be necessary. The tide of history is flowing in your favour for the foreseeable future it appears.

            You are wrong to think I hate gay people. I don’t. I don’t define anyone simply by their sexuality. In fact, I don’t hate anyone and try by God’s grace to love all my fellow human beings.

            You must learn to distinguish between disapproving of homosexual practice and hating homosexual people. There is behaviour in all people, including myself, which I believe to be wrong and destructive to the individual and society. I disapprove, and grieve, over this behaviour, but I do not hate the people in whom it is found. All humanity is flawed; its possible to hate the flaws without hating humanity. Yes I disapprove but that is a far cry from hate. I have homosexual neighbours whom I like and admire in many ways but yes I don’t condone their relationship.

            I do think the celebration of homosexuality and LBGT goals is dangerous for society. In fact, I also think the sexual promiscuity of heterosexual society is dangerous. The effects of divorce on our society has been devastating. We have a generation growing up with all kinds of social and psychological problems because their parents believed they had the right to pursue their own happiness above all else. The freedom to divorce has devastating results for society.

            In my view, the move to tell all children they have the right to choose their own gender is tantamount to child abuse. It will bring uncertainty, confusion and insecurity leading to lasting harm.

            The truth is no man is an island. Our behaviour affects others for good or ill. We create by our behaviour a moral climate. What society at every stage of history has had to decide is what behaviour is so detrimental that it must be disapproved, either by social pressure or law. At this point in history society approves your behaviour and disapproves aspects of mine. Much of Christian morality is being abandoned as far too restraining. I refer not merely to sexual ethics but to Christian values like truthfulness, avoidance of greed, humility, meekness etc.

            I believe that the removal of these restraints will have devastating consequences on the social fabric of society and will result in all manner of psychological and spiritual problems for individuals. I believe that your own sexual inclinations will be destructive to your ultimate happiness as a human being. If you were my friend I would tell you this but would not stop being your friend.

            In my view, many of the destructive outcomes are just common sense. Just as it is to me obvious that homosexual sex uses the parts of the body in ways they are not intended. We don’t need a special bible revelation from God to tell us this. We know it both intuitively and by exercising a little thought.

            However, as you know, I believe God does exist and has spoken to us. You mock this and that is your prerogative. Yet is not your often hate filled mockery part of the very attitude you are condemning in Christians. You do not wish Christians to condemn homosexuality but you are happy to deride and abuse Christians and their Christianity. You can disapprove my Christianity without resorting to abuse and by the same token I can disapprove your homosexuality without resorting to abuse. We should both be able to accept criticism without being offended. Yet sadly, the ability to discuss without hate invective is a virtue our society is rapidly losing. In time it will result in devastating war as the present rhetoric with N Korea shows.

            I’ll stop here for I’ve said more than enough. Please be assured that I write without hate or rancour.

          • Linus

            If you hate homosexuality, you hate homosexuals. You hate how our affections and sexual orientation are ordered therefore you hate us.

            “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a lie. The truth of that position is “hate the sin AND the sinner but pretend to love him so you can get past his defences and attack him more effectively”.

            Gay people know what Pixtians mean by “love the sinner, hate the sin.” We know it means you despise us and the only reason you want anything to do with us is so you can win brownie points from your Sky Pixie by trying to change us and make us more like you. Perfect, that is. At least in your own estimation.

            So don’t be surprised if you sense hostility and anger from me. And don’t bother trying to lie and manipulate me by claiming that because you put on a (not very convincing) show of being nice to me, I have an obligation to be nice to you.

            Your side started this war. You are the aggressors. You are the ones who labeled us as abominations and took advantage of your ascendancy to turn society against us, encouraging the ignorant to attack and murder us and the parents of gay children to drive them to suicide.

            In your perfect world we wouldn’t exist, so don’t lie and tell us you love and respect us. Homosexuality is not all we are, but it’s a bloody good portion of it, and our affections, reactions and personalities are all formed as a direct result of our sexual orientation. Take it away and you remove much of what makes us who we are. Replace it with heterosexuality and we become completely different people.

            When you pray to your Sky Pixie to make me straight, you are in effect praying for my annihilation. I take that as a hostile act. You want me gone and replaced by a version of me you find more palatable. But a straight version of me would not be me. He’d be some weird stranger whose tastes, experiences, reactions and memories would not be mine.

            If you pray to your Sky Pixie to make the gay go away then you are praying for my eradication, which is something I object to strongly. Of course it isn’t going to happen because there is no Sky Pixie, so there can be no change. But the sentiment is still there. Your desire to see me eliminated means we can never be friends. Your judgment that I’m not good enough as I am and need altering in order to make me acceptable makes us implacable enemies.

            Let me be clear: my priorities are my survival and the survival of my community. Any regime that puts our survival in danger loses my support. Pixtians put our survival in danger by telling us we must stop being who we are and start pretending to be just like them. Pixtians are therefore the enemy. So are the followers of Jupixism and Pixlam. We’ll defend ourselves against all attacks and do our best to eliminate threats to our safety and security. So watch out. And don’t underestimate our ability to provoke revolutionary change. 20 years ago, who would have thought that same-sex marriage would ever become a reality? Who would have believed an LGBT individual could become a head of government (Ireland, Belgium, Iceland…)? Who would have thought that LGBT individuals would become some of the most popular and well-known figures on TV (Ellen Degeneres, Stephen Fry…)? We’ve radically changed the culture in which we live. Do you think we’re going to stop now?

          • Anton

            No. You will be stopped by Islam, which is impending judgement on the West for the sexual immorality that has wrecked family structure (essentially heterosexual immorality, in fact). I am uncertain whether your heated denials of this fact are made to try to annoy me or whether you really do have your head in the sand, but it makes no difference.

            Do you not have any personal friends with whose views you disagree on major subjects? It would be sad if not. I’m glad I do. That is all that “love the sinner, hate the sin” means.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            “Love the sinner but hate the sin” is what God does and thus it is what all His people should do. People tend to avoid the word “sin.” But all ‘sin’ means is disobedience (rebelling) against God’s laws … laws which are all for our own good. God hates sin because, by definition, it is harmful to God’s beloved creatures. Sin it also shows a complete lack of trust in our totally trustworthy Maker.
            All of us are sinners in some way or another. But we should all be doing our best to avoid what God (in His love) has called sin, even if we do not yet know why God has warned us to avoid it. We are to trust His divine wisdom about such things. Also, we should endeavor to do the good deeds He has told us to do (like the Good Samaritan).

          • Anton

            There is a certain tension within the Holy Trinity concerning “Love the sinner, hate the sin” if you read what Psalms 5:4-6 and 11:5-6 say.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Yes, apparently God does not love all sinners. Romans 9 also reveals this as well. There are a number of parables and sayings of Jesus that indicate that there are actually two spiritual species of humans, which can be named the ovine and the hircine.
            Jesus used metaphors like sheep and goats, wheat crop and weeds, and children of God and children of the devil (John 8:42-44, cf. 1 John 3:10 , Acts 13:10). It seems that God uses the paradigm of belief to reveal which are which, that is, those who believe in Him (“My sheep hear my voice”) and those who don’t. God does not love Satan or his ‘children’.

            Tongue-in-cheek: In fact, these days there is an easy way to tell the difference between them, almost as easy as labels on their forehead. Just ask a person how human beings came into existence and they will tell you about their own ancestors: either those who were created by God or those who evolved from ape-like creatures. Two different species.

          • Anton

            People are saved by their belief in Christ, not their unbelief in Darwin.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Of course. I was not suggesting otherwise. All are going to hell unless they believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. But those who do NOT believe in Christ tend also to disbelieve in the scriptures which are clear in teaching that God specifically created human beings.

            His sheep will not remain lost but will hear the Shepherd’s voice and come into the sheepfold. The goats and wolves in sheep’s clothing will be excluded by their own unbelief in the gospel. God knew who was who before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

          • Linus

            “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is Pixtian shorthand for “I am so much better than you, and you need to venerate me as a perfect role model because my way is the only way, and if you dare to want anything different then you’re an evil degenerate, so look up to me as your superior while I look down on you as a miserable piece of flotsam whose only reason for existing is to make me look good.”

            Those are the only terms on which Pixtians will accept any form of relationship with those whom they judge to be “sinners”.

            And you wonder why so few of us take you up on the offer…

          • Linus

            All the hate is on your side. And you’re wrong to think that love the sinner hate the sin is unworkable. It is the principle that guides us all for there are aspects of every person that are undesirable. I hate divorce but know and like many divorced people. I do not approve of cohabitation but know and accept many who cohabit. I disapprove of lying, boasting, greed but see many of these features in others I know and in myself. Do I hate these people? Do I hate myself? Of course not.

            I understand us all to be corrupted by sin and see people not in terms of their faults/sins but as flawed human beings that God wishes to renew in his image. Yes, I know this desiring change is anathema to you. Yet I wish it for you and me. I wish to see the self we both are eliminated. I want for us both a new self. I do not accept that our sexual inclinations are our most fundamental self. If it is it means that paedophiles have no hope. Indeed, in God’s coming kingdom sexual identity will not exist.

            I hope however you can see where the most intolerance lies. Because I would wish to see you changed makes you my implacable enemy requiring elimination. This is the kind of hate that destroys not only those you wish destroyed but you too.

            Do I think I’m going to stop you? No, I don’t. I think you have the wind behind you. However, I do think all the permissiveness of modern society will prove to be very destructive and may in time be seen to be such and prompt a backlash.

            More importantly, I think the intrinsically destructive nature of permissiveness is itself a judgement from God. When we reject him, he rejects us and gives us over to the destructive forces we have unleashed in our natures. I removes his restraint… for a time at least. He gives us what our hearts desires. He abandons us to our own destructive inclinations. Yet this is not the whole story, for even in his wrath (just judgement on our depravity) he remembers mercy and holds out forgiveness to all who will repent. He often leaves us until sick of our sin we turn to him and like a father he runs to welcome the prodigal son. This message, I know, makes you gnash your teeth as it has done may others before you. But it is, I believe, the sober truth. I hope you may yet be one who sees God’s love for you in the death of Jesus his Son and like me will come as a repenting sinner and embrace his forgiveness and grace.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            And access His transformative power.
            2 Peter 1:3-9
            “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness
            through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
            Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that
            through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption
            in the world caused by evil desires.”

          • Indeed Bruce. Good text.

          • Linus

            Sexual orientation is a foundational element of everyone’s character, personality and identity. It can no more be altered than any other basic personality trait.

            If your Sky Pixie can alter a person’s fundamental personality and wipe out all the bits he doesn’t like then death really will be the annihilation of the self.

            So what exactly are you looking forward to? You won’t be you. You’ll be some kind of weird Stepford animated doll shorn of the unique combination of character traits that make up your personality and identity. Eternity as a bulk standard worship bot pumped full of bliss-inducing drugs sounds like hell to me. But then I suppose I’m not a bliss junkie who’ll do anything for promise of an eternal pixie-gasm.

          • Yes. Christians do hope for an annihilation of a self opposed to God and holiness. They anticipate a new self with a radically new orientation that loves God and holiness. In fact, they believe this new self has already begun. That is what happens at conversion. A new life is implanted within and begins to flourish. This is the good news of the gospel. It is a life that grows by faith, a life that also enables us to say no to the old life. But you know all this and dismiss it as nonsense which is your prerogative. Nevertheless millions have discovered it to be true.

            You Linus, are it seems happy with who you are. Until you are not and until you are convinced you need God’s forgiveness and renewal you will no doubt continue to convince yourself that Christianity is pixieism.

        • Manfarang

          China is now the 2nd largest economy and is looking to its Confucian values.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Don’t forget Cambodia ….

        • Or N Korea.

      • Anton

        But you are not much good when it is not individuals, but

        La Patrie en danger,

        are you?

    • Malcolm Smith

      I can’t see what you have against the kosher catering companies. I imagine that there is enough food being distributed in Houston to prevent people from starving, but it is useful for people with special dietary needs to have an appropriate source.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Absolutely.

    • Coniston

      ‘I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’ Is. 49:6

      • @ Coniston—The bit about being ‘a light to the Gentiles’ seems to be more honour’d in the breach than the observance: ‘Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation’, Acts 10:24.

        • Coniston

          The Jews, like everyone else, constantly ‘Did what was evil in the sight of the Lord’. As C. S. Lewis, wrote, The Old Testament is largely an account of God hammering into the heads of the Israelites what sort of a God he was and how he wanted them to behave.

          • @ Coniston—Really quite depressing that this is how God wanted the Israelites to behave: ‘So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.’

          • dannybhoy

            I think the principle is that God allows us humans to exercise our free will relying on our five senses and intelligence, but uses other peoples to punish those who worship false gods sacrifice children etc.
            As He did with those nations in Canaan and of course with Egypt.
            Yes it sounds ghastly and bloodthirsty, but then God declares Himself to be a holy God and deals fairly with all nations, even forgiving those who repent – like Nineveh.

          • And of course, God warned Israel that just as they were used as a judgement on the Canaanites another nation would be used as a scourge on them if they fell into the same sins that brought judgement on the Canaanites. In time this came to pass, hence the exile.

            God’s judgements are just.

          • dannybhoy

            ?You’re up very early John!

          • I often have little periods of wakefulness during the night. So I lift my iPad and do a little surfing. Then back to sleep.

          • dannybhoy

            Could be a sign of old age creeping on son! We do similar things; wake and read, talk. I sometimes have a little walk around the garden.
            Could be concerns that you have yet to see resolved.
            Anyway our Lord knows and sees, and work all things together for the good.
            God bless you John.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Yes, he was a very naughty boy

          • @ Mrs Proudie—The same genocidal instinct is noted by Solzhenitsyn in chapter 14 of Two Hundred Years Together, where he quotes the Jewish writer David Aizman and adds his own observations:

            ‘Jews must secure the gains of revolution by any means…without any qualms. Any necessary sacrifice must be made. Everything is on the stake here and all will be lost if we hesitate…No one questions what would happen to Jews if the counter-revolution prevails.’ He was absolutely confident that if that happens there would be mass executions of Jews. Therefore, ‘the filthy scum must be crushed even before it had any chance to develop, in embryo. Their very seed must be destroyed…Jews will be able to defend their freedom.’

            Crushed in embryo…And even their very seed…It was already pretty much the Bolshevik program, though expressed in the words of Old Testament.

            Click here and scroll down to the paragraph ending in [43].

          • Inspector General

            Why Johnny, if it’s in the bible, then that’s alright then!

            One has had a wretched time on here of late. Too many slave devotees to that book which cannot be questioned…

          • @ IG—It’s a blessed relief to know that I’m not the only one being driven mad!

    • Merchantman

      Not stupid these Jewish fellows. I was minding my own business, eating my ham pasta flying from one exotic aerodrome to another when I noticed my neighbour in the adjacent seat next to me was tucking into superior fayre. ‘ I say’ I exclaimed;’ that’s not on the menu!’. No he said that’s Kosher because I’m Jewish.’ You should try it some time; I mean not being Jewish but asking for a Kosher meal’. Well that’s fair cop isn’t it? They don’t ask your religion just if you have any dietary needs.
      How about it Rotters, try Jewish for a while & join the 30.000 feet Kosher meal club?

      • dannybhoy

        A little joke..
        “A Catholic priest on a train with a Rabbi. This being a Virgin West Coast train from London to Manchester, it came to a halt somewhere in Staffordshire for two hours, and the clerics reached the point where they were sharing confidences like old friends. ‘Tell me, Rabbi’, said the priest, ‘just between ourselves, have you ever eaten bacon?’ ‘Well, Father, I must admit that I did once try some. Just to satisfy my curiosity, you understand. And while we are sharing our most intimate secrets, have you ever given into the temptation to break your vow of chastity?’ ‘Well, Rabbi, I must admit that I did, just the once, to satisfy my curiosity, you understand’.

        There was a reflective silence for a moment, then the Rabbi commented, ‘Beats the hell out of bacon, doesn’t it?’

      • @ Merchantman—I could never pass for Jewish, nose inadequate.

      • David

        I wouldn’t want to eat meat from animals killed cruelly.

  • SonoView

    It was fascinating to read news of Mr. Joel Osteentatious, pastor of a “mega church” in Houston, refusing to open his “church” building to the “tired, poor and huddled masses” of his city. Instead he encouraged the wet and bedraggled to “declare in faith that they were dry” and to “belieeeve” that the water was a sign from heaven of future riches and prosperity as long as they “named it and claimed it”.

    I have tried the same with my lawn, but it hasn’t worked – I will still have to cut it. Blast!

  • SonoView

    Incidentally I wonder if Trumpelstiltskin will donate $1M to the huddled masses in South East Asia where torrential monsoon rains have caused flooding in 12 states in India and elsewhere with at least 1400 deaths (probably a gross under-estimate).

    Or does charity stop at home?

    • dannybhoy

      Charity is a free will thing. If Mr Trump is a devout Christian I am sure he would give to whatever cause he felt his Lord directed..

      • SonoView

        “If” ! Hmmm… “By their fruits you shall know them”

        Not for me to judge.

        • dannybhoy

          Nor me, but Mike Pence the VP and his wife are declared Christians and I understand Bible studies and prayer meetings are being held in the White House once more..
          http://www1.cbn.com/beltwaybuzz/archive/2017/04/24/trump-cabinet-members-praying-studying-the-bible-together

          • Dominic Stockford

            Mike Pence has made the the journey away from Rome, and into God’s precious hands.

          • David

            This is wonderful news.
            It also explains, to some extent, the hatred of Trump from the atheistic left.

          • Ray Spring

            Plus the sole function of the VP is to become President should the incumbent cease to be President.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes bit you’ve/they’ve had some pretty disastrous VP’s…
            What I like about Mike Pence is he appears loyal, diplomatic and (I think) wants this presidency to be good for America. He’s no dummy, he must have had a good idea of President Trump’s character, but he’s staying the course. That’s admirable afaiamc.

        • Bruce Atkinson

          So why are you judging? By your fruits … we know you.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Or to Poland, where people are in need after flooding. Or Sri Lanka where droughts are causing hardship.

      A giver cannot possibly give to every ‘need’ extant in the world.

    • I assume you give generously to both.

      • dannybhoy

        Ouch!

    • Ray Spring

      Charity does not stop at home, but it must start at home. And Donald has made a most generous start. He is leading America, and helping America.
      I hear that two thirds of Bangladesh is under water. And they have just won a cricket test against Australia.

      • Bruce Atkinson

        It is about priorities.

    • Bruce Atkinson

      To criticize any generosity is not only terribly uncharitable, it is almost always hypocritical. You might want to take the log out of your own eye.

    • Pubcrawler

      Why do you ask? Such questions always summon John 12.6 to mind. And Matthew 6.3.

      • Bruce Atkinson

        And 1 Timothy 5:8, which indicates that charity does indeed begin at home.

  • andrew

    Notice how the guardian has hit out at ‘right wing’ press for allegedly reporting inaccuracies regarding the Christian girl being forced to live with a Muslim family. The guardian will ignore anything to retain their multicultural hight ground. And I suspect the same mostly privately educated, middle class guardian journalists would never allow their children to fall into the hands of a Muslim council known for Muslim nepotism.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Even if the media had got everything absolutely correct in their reporting the lefties would have whinged that they didn’t mention the colour of her dress…

  • len

    If Trump gave all his wealth away the left would be able to gloat that Trump was just like them…. potless.
    That is the philosophy of the left, make everyone equal, broke, skint and envious of the wealth of others.
    Those who oppose religious faith are exactly the same, they have no faith so they want to destroy the faith of others.See it here every day.
    Faith in God isn`t something you can aquire, faith is a gift from God so that none can boast.
    So hardly surprising those who keep denigrating God find it impossible to get faith?. Such is the arrogance and the ‘wisdom’ of man.

    • Bruce Atkinson

      Well said. God gets at the heart of the problem. From the faithless, He takes away any desire for faith, so that they cannot even pray for it. “For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Mark 4:25, cf. Romans 1:28). Only the few lost sheep will be found, but not the goats, for they do not even realize they are lost.

  • David

    “He is well qualified – he loves nibbling his soldiers at breakfast”

    Having returned, a few hours ago, from a men’s Saturday breakfast followed by group study of chapter 28 of Acts, I find these words intoxicatingly hilarious !
    Once again many thanks dear lady.

    On a more serious tack, I admire the Texan spirit of self help and community values now being amply demonstrated by thousands of spontaneous acts of volunteering, which is far more effective than the typically slow, top down government led relief. Such selfless generosity is topped up by this great gesture from the Trump family – well done President, and God Bless America !

  • Dreadnaught

    Mrs Proudie made a poultice and stuffed it down Slope’s drawers
    The congregation – how they laughed, responded with applause
    Not for the first time did she please, the crowd with mouths agape
    She promised to return next week with yet another jolly jape.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I see you have been touched by Tennyson… hope you reported him.

  • Inspector General

    Good day to you, Mrs Proudie

    Your Inspector stands before you baffled. He too read about the plight of the white girl in Tower Hamlets. But what is going on!

    You see, decades ago, the state approved (on the quiet) fostering and adoption apartheid. A right hoo-haa at the time there was. White families could no longer take in black children because ‘the child’s cultural sensitives’ and similar whatevers comes first. It would not be in their interest to be raised by white people, so non-racist black militants told us. And they won the day as they always do, otherwise we’d all be bigots of course. One had always assumed this apartheid worked the other way round too.

    Does anybody know whether the fostering family has a history of approving terrorism, not to mention FGM?

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Yes, it is baffling…but then I find everything about modern life baffling…

      • CliveM

        To true, Mrs Proudie, to true. But what to do? Franklky I verge on dispair, I really do. The modern world is Alice through the Looking Glass on speed.

    • Ray Spring

      If FGM is to be carried out on the child, it should be done by the National Health Service. We must stop barbarism.

      • Inspector General

        Didn’t expect that from you, Mr Spring!

        If FGM is required, performed or not, then repatriation to the land of origin would be a better solution. Rather than overwhelm the British prison service which was never designed to cater for savagery amongst the population. Once off these shores, then the horrors can do what they like, and they will…

        • Ray Spring

          Sorry to cause offense, Inspector General.
          As I see it, the UK has made FGM illegal. Yet has never successfully prosecuted anyone for this offense in 950 years. If you ask any medical doctor who has worked an A & E for twelve months in a major city, they will tell you that little girls have come in for treatment after a botched FGM operation.
          Clearly, in this case, the parents are criminals yet are not prosecuted.
          I understand that in France, any little girl being taken overseas, including to England, has her parents called in to be read the riot act. The little girl has a photo taken of her ‘down below’ and is checked on return to France. Parents are locked up if FGM is shown.
          The UK has a law, yet refuses to prosecute. Which is where these ‘campaigns’ against FGM are funded from. Lock up the parents and remove all their children to safe Christian homes where they can be freed from a religion that causes such harm.

          • Inspector General

            The only way to stop this satanic ritual is to deport those who practice it, and those who allow it to be practised on their child. The entire family to be deported. No point splitting the family up after the fact. One is quite sure these oft benefit dependant wretches would think twice about doing the crime then…

            Most of all sir, one doesn’t wish to see the thing become a British Institution. And if we can rid our land of some of the unpleasants that live in it, we should savour the opportunity…

      • Dreadnaught

        Not with my taxes it shouldn’t. Cultural my arse!

  • Lucius

    For the American left, it would have been far more charitable, if Trump had championed a new tax law forcing some nameless, faceless (rich) taxpayers to give their money to flood victims instead.