Meditation and Reflection

Ukip MEP bashes Archbishop for offering sanctuary to refugees


What do you think? There was an archbishop who loved to read The Guardian and watch the BBC. He saw that thousands upon thousands of Christians were suffering throughout the Middle East, and in Syria in particular. He prayed to his Father in heaven, and was moved with compassion. Addressing the House of Lords, he said, “Within the camps there is significant intimidation and radicalisation, and many particularly of the Christian population who have been forced to flee are unable to be in the camps.”

“The suffering is great, but the helpers are few,” he thought. “Jesus was a refugee, so I must take in a family or two and let them live in the cottage in the grounds of my palace.”

It was something that the archbishop had been considering for a while. Offering sanctuary to dispossessed and distraught refugees was something that he felt passionate about. There were refugees desperate for sanctuary from war-torn places, and the archbishop himself was completely torn about their situation and wanted to make a difference. The rent for the refugees would be paid for by charitable funds under the archbishop’s personal control. So he made arrangements for his palace to welcome the refugees.

There was a Christian politician who loved to read The Express and watch Fox News. He saw that his brothers and sisters in Syria were being attacked, abducted, tortured and killed. He loved patriotism, sovereignty, democracy and civic duty, and said, “Christian moral principles are not a bad basis for a free and fair society.” He heard about the archbishop’s offer of sanctuary to refugees, but preferred to call them migrants, even though they were being rescued directly from a place of fierce persecution and torment.

“The suffering there is great, but the archbishop is only helping one family,” he said. “This is pure gesture politics; a cynical display of virtue-signalling; showing off to the nation about how good and righteous he is.” The Christian politician was concerned about spiritual integrity and the appearance of hypocrisy. He prayed to his Father in heaven, and was moved to anger. Hypocrisy was something he felt passionate about. And there were many poor and homeless on the streets of his own country. Why, he wondered, was the archbishop not dedicating his considerable funds and offering refuge to them? “Charity begins at home,” he said. And he logged out of Twitter, turned off his PC and went to bed with a mug of Horlicks. The spare rooms in his mansion remained empty, and the spare beds unslept in.

Which of these two did the will of his father?

  • john in cheshire

    I’ll take Mr Helmer’s side.

  • fartel engelbert

    Is he taking in only christians ? Bit racist isn’t it ?

    • saintmark

      He was going to take in Muslims but then found out that they wanted part of Lambeth Palace turned into a Mosque and once that happened they would always considered it to be Muslim territory and any attempt to change that would be considered an attack against Islam

    • James60498 .


  • sarky

    Would you give money to charity if your cupboards were empty?
    How can we possibly help others when we can’t even help our own? Let’s get our house in order, then we will be in a position to help others (and lets remember only about 20% are genuine refugees, the rest are economic migrants)

  • Jack recalls a story.

    A shoal of fishes was washed up on a beach and were dying through their inability to return. A child on the beach ran to their aid and threw as many back into the sea as she could. Those watching laughed and asked:“What’s the point? There are too many to save. You are wasting your time. You are making no difference” Her reply: “It makes a difference for each one that returns to the sea.”

  • Anton

    Never attack acts of private charity. Good on the Archbishop. As well as showing generosity It gives him a stronger platform to say what he thinks about government policy on the subject, which hopefully is to let few in, for reasons discussed on earlier threads.

  • CliveM

    A politician goes onto Twitter and attacks a charitable act as “gesture politics”.


    It would be interesting to understand what he does for all the needy in the UK that he feels are being ignored.

  • Alison Bailey Castellina

    Charles Dickens was mystified by a certain blind hypocrisy (see Nicholas Nickleby) which makes charity attractive if those being helped stay at a distance i.e. abroad. So full credit to The Archbishop for getting engaged, face to face – presuming he meets and gets to know his guests. There are some, not all, in possession of comfortable spare rooms making statements, oral or material about refugees, who may not do so for desperate neighbours (I know this, as I founded a charity for the chronically ill). Genuine, as opposed to false charity begins in one’s own home, and among one’s own family/friends/community. Nevertheless, we are commanded to rescue brothers and sisters (no one else will) which might mean helping them flee elsewhere. Those believing that we live in Eldorado, need more truth. I have friends, caring for people, with top qualifications living on three zero hours contracts – bringing in less than Job Seekers Allowance delivers. The secular, rich West is fine so long as you don’t get a complex chronic illness, lose mobility or cannot get a solid job. Once that happens, apart from stalwart Christian and non-Christian friends, Eldorado fails and there is no help save the compassionate but Invisible (who one is commanded to trust in – alone – at all times).

  • IanCad

    What, with his mealy-mouthed sermon last Sunday, and now the offer to house One?! family in the vastness of Lambeth Palace, the ABC is slipping IMO.
    Absolutely this is gesture politics and – I love the phrase – virtue signaling.

  • This is a Christian country, something that even non-believers accept, and we should only accept Christians. This is the attitude of the Hungarians and I am convinced that they are right. Muslim countries should offer sanctuary to Muslims, but the biggest and richest won’t take any.

    • John Moore.

      I understand that Saudia Arabia is offering to pay for 200 new mosques to be built in Germany as their contribution to the migrants’ welfare. (sorry, can’t find where I read it).

      • If I’d had my way, no mosques would have been built in this country without a similar number of Christian Churches being built in Saudi Arabia.

        • saintmark

          My thoughts exactly

        • Anna

          Travellers to Saudi Arabia tend to have their Bibles confiscated at the airport.

          • And they have to avoid wearing even a simple cross, something my wife invariably wears. Glad we have no intention of going there.

      • Anton

        I’ll bet it is!

      • James60498 .

        It appears in various newspapers and websites.

      • Anna

        Islam takes root where mosques are built. As I mentioned in another post (about Saudi Arabia and Al Nimr), the building of mosques is an important strategy in spreading the faith – these then expand to include community centres and madrassas for radicalisation.

        Muslim countries rarely permit Christians to build new churches. In the ME, even when Christians meet in the privacy of their homes, they can expect to be reported and arrested.

        • Phil R

          On a recent trip to North Cyprus I noticed a mega mosque is being built a short distance outside Nicosia on the Famagusta road.

          It size is truly staggering. Far larger it seemed than most of our cathedrals.

          Does a small country really need one this size or is it a statement by the donor country?

          • Anna

            They are projecting into the future – when a significantly larger population will worship in those mosques.

            Mosques are springing up everywhere, since governments
            in democratic nations do not want to be seen as intolerant – in denying someone the right to worship. The only people who have no use for such political correctness are the Muslims and possibly, the Chinese.

      • dannybhoy
    • That’s because the Saudis are behind the war in Syria. They hate the refugees.

  • Orwell Ian

    Archbishop Justin has laid himself wide open to accusations of virtue signalling by going public with his charitable intention in the House of Lords. Jesus warned us not to practise our righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. He said “when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” If Archbishop Justin had just quietly gone and done it how much greater the impact if it later came to light?

    Politician Roger comes across as rather judgmental since none of us can know the Archbishop’s motives. It is one thing to exhort somebody to use their considerable funds to demonstrate that charity begins at home and quite another to dip into ones own pocket.

  • len

    Migrants are suffering children are dying and there is incredible suffering being endured by many fleeing for their lives seeking refuge.These are the genuine migrants women children the elderly and the disabled.
    But why are there so many young men fleeing their country why are they not fighting as the Kurds are doing (with little or no support from anyone)

    The surrounding Arab nations are doing nothing to help those who who are caught up in the conflict as they do nothing to help those in Palestine other than offering them weapons despite their immense amounts of land which they could have offered with little or no effect to themselves.

    It may not be a popular view but migrants need to be looked at very carefully as to what their real intentions are for coming to Europe.’Safe havens’ could have been very easily set up for refugees without them having to risk their lives in crossing the Mediterranean while some sort of solution to tackling IS is discussed (which should have been done at the onset rather than allow them to build up their strength to what it is now.)

    • Jack agrees with the spirit of your post, Len.

      “But why are there so many young men fleeing their country why are they not fighting as the Kurds are doing (with little or no support from anyone)”

      Jack was following a series of interviews with Adrian Charles on BBC Radio 5 Live. It was quite by accident as he was wanting to listen to the football news. Adrian was talking with a 17 year old boy fleeing Syria and following his progress.

      His reason for leaving: “They are killing people for fun in my country.” Essentially, he was saying there are so many factions and counter-factions, with so many different agendas, all fighting and killing one another, that one finds it impossible to know where to go or where to run or who to fight.

      He made it across the Mediterranean to Hungary and then to Germany. He just wanted a life where he could work and lead some sort of normal existence. Adrian was clearly moved and touched by his story and promised to take him to watch Chelsea (his favourite team) if they ever play a German team in the Champions League.

      Was he an “economic migrant” or a “political refugee”? Do these terms have meaning in the carnage that is Syria?

      • Anton

        Hobbes called it the “war of all against all” and we have known it in Europe (in, for instance, the Thirty Years War during which a dreadful proportion of the population of today’s Germany died). Let in one refugee from that situation and it is fine. Let in too many and they will bring the war with them.

        • Jack’s not advocating an open door but a compassionate response that combines refuge for some with aid and safe havens for others.

      • Hi Jack

        Kurds are well cool and should have their homeland recognised ….

  • David Keen

    one persons gesture politics is another persons leading by example.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Welby’s couple of Christian families are wholly atypical of the ‘refugees’ arriving in Europe, who comprise 18 per cent children, 13 per cent women, 69 per cent men, and, with the exception of Eritrea, come from overwhelmingly Muslim countries.

    When Welby fills his palace with single male Muslims he will deserve respect, but housing a few Christians, who will be carefully chosen and who will cost him nothing in time or expense, is a cynical exercise in sanctimoniousness, and, given Welby’s stated belief that diversity is ‘a gift, not a threat’, it reveals him as a hypocrite.

  • carl jacobs

    Because the AoC is a public figure, any action he takes is subject to attack as gesture politics. Because of his position, he is unable to separate public from private. In addition his actions can be simultaneously attacked as both too cynical (“What? Only one? Only Christians?”) and too idealistic (“Would you let a homeless man into your house and risk your family like that?”). He really can’t win in a situation like this.

    The MEP sees this action as an implicit attack on restrictions on immigration. He understands the public ramifications of the AoCs actions. So he seeks to delegitimize the AoC’s actions. Whether the AoC intended the action to be seen in such a manner is beside the point. It will be seen in such a manner. The AoC cannot escape his public life. As a private citizen; he might be simply offering someone a place to live. As a public figure, he is intervening in a controversial political issue. He can’t avoid it.

    • He’s the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior cleric in England and Wales. Christ demands he says and does something, regardless of his constitutional position. Render to Caesar ….

      Will the Queen, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, say or do something? Is she hamstrung too?

      • carl jacobs

        But what he says and does will inevitably be compromised by his political position. The MEP wouldn’t have commented but for the AoCs ABCs* official standing. The problem isn’t that he can’t do anything. The problem is that what he does will always be seen through a political lens.

        * Just this once for Avi

        • Then, as Jack said, he must carry on regardless and fulfil his first duty and that is not to the state but to God. Sometimes Archbishops have to pick up the Cross too.

          • dannybhoy

            Only sometimes?!
            I have no doubt that Justin Welby is a good man, an earnest Christian doing his best to lead the church and keep the flock together.
            I just don’t think this is the way to demonstrate compassion, because the obvious criticism would be
            “Why hasn’t this been done before? What about our British elderly struggling to keep body and soul together?
            Or what about young soldiers returning home from some tours of duty, suffering from PTSD with nowhere to live because the government and the Army no longer care about them?”

          • Ideally all the time …. but that is another subject altogether.
            One is confident Justin weighed all these matters up beforehand. He is an experienced man of the world as well as the Archbishop.

          • dannybhoy

            you’re in danger of embracing Anglicanism. Which would be no bad thing seeing as some parts of her Catholic roots remain in our “high church..”
            For myself I will only ever identify as a Christian; dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ to keep me in His way, serving Him sharing the Gospel and then in the not too distant future bringing me one day to glory…

          • It’s more likely certain sections of the Anglican alliance will embrace Catholicism. That said, there are many who hold liberal Anglican and Episcopalians views in the Catholic Church – Jack is not one of them.

  • CliveM

    I find the MEP’s tweet un generous in its assessment and sneering in its response. It doesn’t attempt to debate, simply to denigrate.

    It says more, I think, about the MEP then it does about Welby.

    • carl jacobs

      That’s not really fair, either, Clive. Politics is a hard contact sport. So long as the AoC is a politician, his motives are properly open to criticism. Politicians do make gestures and this is a public gesture. The criticism is only unfair if it’s false. How would anyone prove or disprove the allegation? The MEP could be right, and politicians don’t automatically get the benefit of the doubt – clergy or not.

      Now, if you got the bishops out of the HoL…

      • CliveM

        Hi Carl

        Although they sit in the HofL, whilst they maybe part of the legislature, they are not politicians. They have their own benches, always on the Govt side indicating their loyalty to the Crown. They don’t sit on the party benches or the cross party benches. Their role isn’t to bring a political insight to an issue but a spiritual insight.

        So in that sense they are not political opponents to any party, even UKIP!

        I feel your point would be justified if Welby had engaged in a similar way to this MEP. But he didn’t.

        I do feel that as the tweet was at its most charitable interpretation judgemental, it is reasonable to point that out (as it is about my own comments!). I feel if the MEP had made a point about the simple rights or wrongs of Welbys comments and I had responded the way I did, you would be right.

        But he didn’t.

        • carl jacobs

          Bishops aren’t politicians?

          [cough] Pete Broadbent [cough]

          I realize he isn’t in the HoL but still …

          • CliveM

            There are always mavericks who are outliers and as you say, he isn’t in the HofL.

            I think putting ‘of’ between the two letters clarifies things!

      • ABC or ++Welby not AoC. You’re welcome.

        • carl jacobs

          I’ve been using “AoC” for over ten years so even if it was wrong (an inconceivable hypothetical) I have by now established it as correct through customary usage. It’s sort of like international law. Just think of me as a permanent member of the English Language Security Council.

          Besides, ‘Archbishop’ is one word and you don’t make proper acroynms by taking two letters from one word.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Just remember, Cream Cracker, American-English is a dialect of the Queen’s English. You don’t get to set the rules. Toleration is not acceptance of American “customary usage”.

          • So the Pope would be the BoR.
            Jack agrees with your reasoning even if Grouchy doesn’t. He’s still somewhat annoyed from yesterday.

          • IanCad

            Then AoC it is from now on. Lesson learned.

          • It’s a compound word and Congress doesn’t make rules for acronyms.

          • carl jacobs

            A compound word is still a word, and there are rules for writing acronyms. You combine the initial letters. Like NATO. Or BeneLux. No one would use an acronym like Belderberg.

          • CliveM

            Try AofC!!

          • carl jacobs

            Inefficient. Wastes an otherwise valuable ‘f’. You never know when you will need a spare ‘f’.

          • dannybhoy

            We Brits don’t know many f words…

          • Pubcrawler

            “proper acroynms”

            If we’re going to be pedantic, and overlooking the typo, ‘proper’ acronyms must be pronounceable as a word, otherwise it’s just an initialism.

          • Hurrah …

          • CliveM

            Or Huzzah!

          • So now the American-English dialect randomly introduces the letter ” y ” into words. No doubt this is to make up for their omission of the letter ” u “.

        • Hehe ….

  • The Christian politician is doing the will of the father because he is trying to change the political system and thinking in order that the world become a better place. The Archbishop whilst leading by example is only doing the will of the father on a small scale.personal level and making us all feel guilty for not taking in as many refugees as we can cram into our empty spaces.

    • Do you feel guilt, Marie? There’s no need to. We can offer prayers; we can assist with relief efforts at home; we can donate to Christian charities.

  • The Russians are busy building internal safe havens 40kms north of Aleppo out of the war zones in Syria in order that it might retain its population and get some back from Lebanon and Jordan. If we and the EU were on the ball we could have joined forces with them and built other havens thereby stemming the flow to Europe. But, we have been too busy listening to those who want rid of Assad.

    • James60498 .

      Join with the Russians!!! Are you serious?

      Cameron would rather ……………. . Fill in the dots for yourself.

      (By the way. I do agree with you).

      • Anton

        Cameron would rather strike unusual poses with the head of a roast suckling pig, according to some.

        • carl jacobs

          You don’t believe that nonsense do you?

          • Anton

            I was at Cambridge with some similar types of that generation and I can assure you that it is entirely plausible. As to whether it happened, there is talk of it being photographed and he hasn’t denied it. As to whether it matters, not a damn.

          • dannybhoy

            Exactly. Cameron may have done those things, but who cares now? He is a responsible family man and has been touched by tragedy (his son). I think this a is a non story, irresponsibly issued at at time when we are facing far more serious problems.

          • What is all this referring to?

          • dannybhoy
          • And this has what to do with the subject matter of this thread?

          • Apologies, Archbishop. Jack’s curiosity got the better of him. He had no idea about this and Goggle was no help.

          • Then it’s a matter for the Inspector’s chat room, since he appears to be talking about sex all alone down there.

          • Well yes, he would be.

          • dannybhoy

            Jack asked, I answered.
            I like Jack.
            Also, being a thoughtful sort of chap I wrote a great long spiel on the excellent subject matter.
            It was the least I could do as a response to your thread..

          • Blame Anton …. and Carl.

          • dannybhoy

            I would if I thought I could get away with it, but for the very first time his majesty sent me an email, so I suppose he was holding me part responsible for not keeping you in line..
            (I am older than you aren’t I?)

          • Jack never stepped out of line. He was genuinely unaware of all this rather malicious and unsubstantiated gossip.

          • Talk about a woman scorned ….

          • dannybhoy

            Rather a pollster ignored…

          • CliveM

            A statement was put out by his staff denying it. The Times (I believe) reported that as a story it was unravelling.

        • sarky

          Hes now known as Hameron!

    • Russian Television and Pravda are poor sources of info, Marie. Putin bamboozled Kerry and Barry, muscled in on Syria and is cynically trying to pass himself off as a peace-maker and a humanitarian. Russia is busy propping up Assad’s regime, its last economic and military foothold in the ME. The only refuge it hopes to establish is for Assad’s klepto family and his own tribe, the Alawites. The few refugees and the hordes of migrants whose documents were eaten by the family dog are flooding into Europe because of its open borders, easy asylum laws and lavish benefits.

      • I read articles on Global Research as well as watching RT channels and other individual news blogs. It’s not really in Europe’s or Russia’s best interests to be swamped with middle eastern muslim mainly refugees and migrants. Assad asked for help and Putin offered it. If you look at the population of Syria it was mainly Alawites, Druze, Christians and only a small amount of Arabs and some other minorities.
        And yes I agree with your last point. Angela Merkel is punishing the German people for being German. She’s lost the plot.

        • is a project by a Canadian Russian professor, Chosudovski, who is a Putin shill, conspiracy theorist, “anti-Zionist” and an all-around crank who goes on about the “horrors” of GMO, “chem-trails”, 9/11 truthers and whatnot. There is no research that goes on there; it publishes conspiracy quacks and “papers” by a Russian government propaganda set up, the Kremlin’s “New Eastern Outlook,” which makes the site and its regulars into parties and persons of interest to Western intelligence services which are (finally!) monitoring Russia more closely.

          And I didn’t imply that accepting masses of migrants is in EU’s best intetests…not that I personally care all that much about EU’s comical quandary. Nor is Russia’s “help Assad and accept Russian presence in Syria or be swamped” a true choice; just more propaganda from an ex-KGB mug. And, the figure for Assad’s ruling Alawite clique is only 15% of Syria’s population.

          • Jack thinks you are misjudging Putin and his motives and politics. That said, you appear to have greater knowledge and insight into all the machinations. But are you being entirely objective, Avi?

          • Hi

            Well of course you like putin cause he uses homophobia to distract from Russia’s colossal failures and problems . Like , before I go for the night one for you :

          • He believes homosexuality should not be actively promoted because it undermines family life, social stability and corrupts the young. Russia isn’t a liberal Western democracy espousing a relativist morality.

          • He’s gone beyond this. He uses his Putin-jugend troops to attack gays and anyone he declares to be gay. And you fell for tradition, family and children bullshit rationale too. What an un-British attraction you have for strong-men, Jack. Thank goodness Mussolini’s not around, or you’d be licking his jackboots. Ugh!

          • “He uses his Putin-jugend troops to attack gays and anyone he declares to be gay.”

            Oh, please. You been reading Pink News, Avi? Some evidence that this is orchestrated by Putin and/or the Orthodox Church would be helpful.

            Putin is trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation as it had been for 1,000 years before Russia went atheistic and pagan under Marxism.

            His position: “The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization and helped turn it into one of the largest world powers.”

            So Putin signed a law, supported by the Russian people, banning the adoption of Russian-born children by homosexuals as well as all couples or single parents living in countries where homosexual marriage exists.

            *outrageous* – cried the liberal West.

            Another law, again supported by the Russian people, bans “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations”. The law will impose sizable fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information to minors about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

            *outrageous* – cried the liberal West.

          • Right…but he couldn’t make the trains run on time, because it’s Russia.

            Putin is doing what a succession of tyrannical Tzars and a compliant Russian Church has been doing for centuries; exciting the masses and turning them against any handy and sufficiently hated minority or issue while stuffing their own gullets. But such backwarness keeps Russia backward, which is not so bad for us in the West. There no good guys left in that sorry place; they’ve either been killed or exiled.

          • Hi Jack

            Putin’s Russia is somewhere between an authoritarian nationalist state and fascistic corporate cronyism / capitalism model , which is extending beyond its own borders into aggression elsewhere.. He’s using family values as an excuse: gays are scapegoats (Just as Russia’s Jews used to be ) for Russia’s long term failings. His morality doesn’t work in practice anyways, because of the continued levels of alcoholism, drugs and declining birth rate within Russian , but a dictator can often use religion as an ally without believing or practicing any of it. And in Russia it’s increasingly difficult to suggest that’s all the gays fault. The heterosexual couples need to give up a few more children for socialism and Russia could so well do to reply on just oil/ gas exports …

          • Yes, Jack read this opinion in 2013 from all the liberal celebrities in the West and on Pink News. You are doing your people a huge disservice by drawing a comparison between Russian refusal to accept homosexuality as normal and healthy and the treatment of Jews. It’s been decriminalised – it’s just not permitted to promote it. Whatever his personal motivations, Jack believes what he says about Christian values is spot on.

          • Hi Jack

            No surprises for me here. From me understanding what you write and stuff , you’d be comfortable with or would like southern European or southern American , Social conservative to nationalist authoritarian corporatist /Catholic / quasi fascist regimes like we’ve seen via Peron,Franco, Mussolini, Salazar etc. I’m not criticising, just , as the native Americans say trying to be “Waltzing in [your] moccasins”.

          • Jack doesn’t favour any one particular political system. Horses for courses and all that. He is, as you say, socially conservative along with most Orthodox Jews (and not just the Haredim).

          • Entirely objective? No; I saw enough of Soviet/Russian barbarism and stupidity in Prague as a kid to be able to do this. More than you, yes, and that’s because you as a life-long Brit cannot see the classic brutality for what it is and project British characteristics on a mafia government exploiting credulous and excited masses that haven’t moved beyond serfdom. Muzhiks in Benetton sweaters.

          • Oh Avi that’s not true you’re being a bit narrow minded and biased yourself. GR has all sorts of news and views.

          • Perhaps you’re right. People who claim that I run the world, get excited over killer-corn, hide from condensation trails and serve as a propaganda outlet for the SFU have a right to their news and views. You Brits used to be great suckers for Soviet propaganda, which was formidable and at times brilliant to be sure, but Putin’s trash? Really?

          • CliveM

            Not all Brits Avi.

          • I know…I was painting with a broad brush.

          • CliveM


            I would go on to say that most Brits support the nuclear deterrent and most were opposed to the USSR.

            Those defending the USSR/Russia tend to be a vocal minority.

          • I hear you, Clive, and right you are. Most Brits are a grounded and sensible lot upon whose shoulder a marvelous Empire once sat…your upper classes and intelligentsia on the other hand appear to be in a free fall with no bottom in sight….

          • CliveM

            Political classes Avi, the bane of any society. We succeed in spite of them.

          • You want to read some of Dr Paul Craig Roberts’ articles a very wise old Yank who contributes to GR

          • I know of Roberts, a paleoconservative who’s been on the fringe for years. He mixes standard, sensible conservatism with loonie libertarianism and the usual anti-Israel spittle to keep his limited audience happy. Not my cup of tea.

          • carl jacobs

            Wait a minute. Wait just a gosh darn minute. You DO run the world! Don’t think for a minute that all these clever denials are going to get you out of forking over all that back pay you still owe me.

          • The check is in the mail…through Canada Post.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s what you said 18 months ago. Your credibility has taken some hits in the interval.

          • Canada Post is unionised, the check is still in the sorting centre. Any day now….

          • CliveM

            Lovely thing about the internet, you can always find the opinion and ‘evidence’ you want.

      • CliveM

        If Putin ruled here, this blog would be shut down for a start. Free speech would be at the risk of your own life.

        • And he would handpick the ABC who would run the blackmartet cigarette and vodka scotch trade!

          • CliveM

            Oh the perks, including very expensive watches I understand.

      • Dreadnaught

        I wonder just how many Syrian refugees have the guts to ask themselves ‘ is this any worse than before they tried to oust the bastard’ Never forget that the Christians,Shia, Yasidi,Gays and a few Jews even. seemed to live in relative peace under the Dictator. Whatever way you cut it, this chaos is rooted in Sunni Muslim sectarianism. The politics is secondary.

      • magnolia

        The Alawites are a pretty generous, gentle and peaceful lot when compared to the mass of Muslims are they not? They are quite syncretistic and as such were trusted to keep the otherwise warring factions apart, a fact that seems to have eluded the best (??) brains in our government.

        Frankly these days I find more political common sense in the man down the pub or the lady at the back of church than in government foreign policy. Notably the Government was both out of touch and wrong on the Iraq war, and then no one appeared to learn nor to want to learn from their catastrophic errors.

        The US has been almost brought down with its voluminous war spending and the world economy teeters because the strange Chinese US situation where the Chinese made cheap goods and the US consumed them has had the bicycle chain come off. $18,4 Trillion in debt and the Chinese are steadily dumping US bonds and looking to domestic and BRIC markets The Fed has to step in and buy yet more of their “own” debt. It’s a mess.

        • Well, if you ad an Alawite, I’m sure that’s what they’ll say. Fact is, they were in power and abused their power. Tyrsnnies are always unstable and their overthrow can bring worse governments or utter chaos. The Assads brought the revolt onto their own heads through greed and savagery and other than backing the layest Assad…an inherently immoral act…there is little our governments could have done.

          I don’t believe our governments were wrong on Iraq. The country was on a stable trajectory until Obama pulled out the troops prematurely. The current mess is the result of a veritable sabotage of a successful multi-stage process of nationsl rebuilding. If America gets gun-shy, as Obama who’s busy tanking the US forces hopes, the mess in the world will get out of control. Once the sea lanes and trade are affected by Uncle Sam’s absence, we will all suffer big time. A world policed by Russia and China with Muslims defaulting to piracy and civil wars possibly involving nukes will be a nightmare…and the US will be blamed for letting that happen too.

  • dannybhoy

    Just a little item to help us stay objective about this issue.

    Should we (ie Europe), be taking in people who have deliberately destroyed their id papers so that we don’t know who they are or where they are from, or what their intentions are?
    Let’s suppose that during ww2 our government had been approached by the Austrian, the Czechoslovakian, the Polish governments and asked to take in hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans who wanted nothing to do with Herr Hitler. That they only wanted to escape the curse of Nazism and find refuge in Great Britain.
    Would our government have taken them?
    I’m asking, would they?
    Extremist Islam is at war with the West, “the Crusaders”.
    ISIL has in its ranks men like ‘Jihadi John’ who has slit the throats and hacked off the heads of various western hostages including ‘fellow Brit’, aid worker Alan Henning . JihadI John, born in the United Kingdom. Now a soldier and executioner for Allah.There are more like him out there, and more seeking to join him; all British citizens.
    They are no more to be won over by pink and fluffy, warm and fuzzy people than were the Nazis.

    The way to help those Muslims and other faiths being butchered raped and forced to convert (a la Quran), is to set up safe, supplied and sanitary refugee camps in the Middle East and in Africa. NOT accept them into Europe.
    This is gesture politics, this is naivety at its compassionate worst.
    What so amazes me is this.
    When the remnants of Jewish innocents came out of the concentration camps of Nazi Europe, which European countries were extending succour and compassion to them then? Who was opening the doors to welcome in the survivors of a holocaust many European governments were complicit in supplying victims for?
    Even our own British government tried to stop them getting to Palestine, and what threat were the Jews to us?

    Now some seventy years later Europe is castigating Israel whilst welcoming into its midst those who in their own countries, persecute and abuse and murder Christians…

    • Well exactly, let’s not forget the West’s attitude towards the Jews.

      What if the Good Samaritan had weighed up the possibly the injured man was feigning as a ruse to lure him so hidden bandits on the road could set about him? So, rather than help, he walked on by?

      Yes, governments have to act sensibly and prudentially and be cautious in these situations. Yes, they have to consider the scale of the problem and the resources available. Yes, they have to gauge public opinion and the impact on the receiving community. The Church, as the Body of Christ, has a different calling and a duty to offer aid and succour.

      Well done Justin Welby and may God Bless you.

      • dannybhoy

        Erm, and the Church was urging our government to take in persecuted fellow Christians when exactly, Jack?
        They couldn’t, because as I have said before that would be religious discrimination, an absolute ‘No No’ in our current secular humanist political set up.
        So instead we have to take in everybody, but not especially Christians -who btw continue to suffer…
        May I refer you to Matthew 25?

        • CliveM

          He has also urged the west to create safe havens so that the ME isn’t cleansed of Christian and other religious minorities.

          • dannybhoy

            Well so that’s good, because as far as I am concerned that is the answer. But the Church’s first concern should have been for Christians being persecuted in (usually) Muslim nations, then those of other faiths.
            My main point in all this is that what we are free to do as Christian citizens in a free society is not the same as what a Christian Prime Minister would do bearing in mind his/her responsibility for the safety and security of all citizens, bearing in mind they are mostly not Christians.
            Historically this has always been the situation. The leader of our nation must do what is right for our nation. To expose ourselves to potentially more terrorism would be irresponsible.

          • CliveM

            Remember the Yazidi were treated even worse then the Christians, so I think urging help for them is the least a Christian leader should do.

      • Hi Jack

        Well like unless the great powers want to go to war, crush ISIS and the other savages , we are are stuck with what we have now.

        The Torah says : “For the L-RD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are strangers, for you yourselves were strangers in Egypt.” ( Deuteronomy 10 : 17 ).

        Again we are told by Torah “When a stranger lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The stranger living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were strangers in Egypt. I am the L-RD your God.”( Leviticus 19: 34).

        Torah also says in this verse : “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the L-rd.”[Leviticus19 verse

        In the 1970s , the Israeli prime minister , Menachem Begin, explained his decision to rescue and relocate goy Vietnamese boat people who fled after the fall of south Vietnam, whose descendants speak fluent Hebrew and either converted to Judaism or who are Israeli citizens said :

        ” We never have forgotten the boat with 900 Jews [the St. Louis], having left Germany in the last weeks before the Second World War… traveling from harbor to harbor, from country to country, crying out for refuge. They were refused… Therefore it was natural… to give those people a haven in the land of Israel.”

        Clearly- and this is part of the problem – no one nation is able to absorb the millions of refugees pouring out of Syria but there must be capacity among the remainder of the 190 nation states which exist on this earth to distribute these people? Many are your Christian brothers and sisters.

        As for this Jewish girl , she’s been translating her grandparents diaries and when my grandparents came to England, grandmother noted in a long poem her wonder of snow and England in the big freeze of the late 1940s.. And interwoven in this is being told by various people (Johnny r would presumably be extremely pleased) ” da*kie joo: get back to where you came from , off on the f*fing banana boat “.

        It seems we haven’t moved much in sentiment.

        • Human nature doesn’t change, Hannah, and the words of God proclaim His love for all in distress.
          It seems to Jack the defining problem is “the clash of civilisations” between Islam and both Christianity and Judaism. However we dress it up, and notwithstanding there are people of goodwill in that faith, the ideology of this religion is a real danger to the West and, of course Israel, and our values and freedoms.
          As the various factions set about wantonly murdering their own people and Christians, some also have an eye on bringing chaos and carnage to Western Europe – or the threat of it – deliberately creating a climate of terror.
          And that’s the problem. Behind it and pushing it are forces, human and demonic, promoting hate and fear.

          • “The clash of civilisations” between Islam and both Christianity and Judaism”

            Sorry forgot you think Jews are still a Vatican enemy. How sad.
            Hey like the pope could give the Vatican and its zillions to help the refugees , no?

          • You misunderstood Jack – again. Islam is at war with both Christianity and Judaism. Hence the word “both”.

          • Hi Jack

            Oh, okay thanks for clarification.

          • Surely you know Jack’s position on Judaism by now, Hannah.

          • Hi Jack

            That Judaism is well COOL and a lot of fun?

            Hey confusingly a chap e-mailed me as he was convinced this Yom Kippur would mean the rapture – the pope meeting Obama would reveal the perdition and that we were coming out of a Shmita year would cause financial chaos… Oh and am asteroid was supposed to hit earth right about now…..

          • Two ‘Blue Moons’ in September is causing a stir too.
            Jack’s off to his bunker with his tin-foil helmet before the asteroid hits ….

          • Check out the dates of previous Blue Moons – somewhat spooky.

          • magnolia

            It also has quite a record against Buddhists and Hindus. Hindus indeed have come in for quite a battering as they are considered distinctly non-monotheistic and could not be thought of as “people of the book”. Not forgetting secularists and atheists.

          • And secularism and polytheism.

          • It’s just at war …

          • dannybhoy

            You should have written this earlier!

        • CliveM

          Hannah stupidity is eternal and almost universal.

          Good luck translating, I’m sure it will be a source of happiness and also sadly anger.

  • steroflex

    I reckon there are a lot of people who are welcoming refugees – cheaper and easier than Filipinos and their spouse eh? They used to be called au pair girls…

    • Phil R

      Germany is accepting refugees for one reason. It is always the same reason that Germany does anything.

      It is good for Germany.

      Germany needs to reduce wages to remain competitive. I’ll say no more.

      • James60498 .

        Quite right.

        Boris Johnson referred to Merkel’s Christian Act. I have never thought he had a clue what he was on about.

  • Phil R

    There are a lot of poor Christian families in London.

    It did not occur to Welby to offer it up before this then?

    To my mind it seems it was available for some time, so why now?

    Also were the poor that he knew about who already live in London less deserving?

    And if Welby thinks that he has a moral duty to help, then why not give a lick of paint to the thousands of semi derelict Churches?

    It stinks of PR.

    This is the man who prefers to let fellow Anglicans die than to do as his Bishops begged him.

    For Welby, wealthy Anglican liberals are hundreds of times more important than poor Anglican Africans.

    Africans die because he refuses to act to save his own, refuses to listen to Bishops at the front line, who have members murdered every day and he thinks that offering a free house at no cost to him, somehow resets the balance.

  • Inspector General

    I say, what a delightful example of gesture politics and in the classic style, what!

    And in the finest of traditions, one greets these expressions of solidarity with the admiration they deserve, or not, as the case may be.

    Anyway, every bishops palace should have one of these families in residence, though one can think of a few where muslims would be the first choice, of course. And, as Johnny Rottenborogh points out, how about single young Islamic men, especially those who like to {ahem} ‘construct’ things from clocks and nails in their spare time, and take late evening walks in parks hoping to meet unaccompanied ladies making their way home…


  • Dreadnaught

    If he really wants to set an example he should insist on the Syrian family being Christian surely?

    • dannybhoy

      He couldn’t even if he wanted to, it’s against the law..
      And why do we have palaces for bishops anyway?

      • Dreadnaught

        You are so predictable dan – a little originality … please!

        • dannybhoy

          Predictable’s good.
          It’s what I do best..

      • James60498 .

        Why would it be against the law? If I wanted to invite someone to live in my house, I could presumably invite who I liked, couldn’t I?

        Is it different for him?

  • chiefofsinners

    A certain other archbishop was, conveniently, long dead. His palace existed only in cyberspace, which gave him the opportunity to moralise to others while doing absolutely nothing himself.

    • Inspector General


      • chiefofsinners

        You didn’t know he was dead?

    • Dreadnaught

      What justification if any have you for saying this? I doubt if you know anything about what another person does unless you are in their circle of confidence.
      Making stupid comments doe seem to be your stock in trade and contribute nothing to except to show a propensity that lends itself to open ridicule. Are you really so short of company or intellect that you have to come up with tripe like this in the hope of being taken seriously? Probably.

      • chiefofsinners

        Cheers Dreadie.
        My wife finds it helps to just ignore me.

        • Pubcrawler

          Or, maybe, y’know, Matt 6.2-4…

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes, that would be it. So Cranmer is taking the opposite course to Welby.
            Our left bishop knoweth not what our right bishop doeth.

  • Darter Noster

    I said on here some time ago that Lambeth Palace could house plenty of asylum seekers, so I can’t and don’t blame ++Justin for doing what he has done.

    Nevertheless, housing a family in a spare part of one’s job-given palace, however correct a gesture it might be, does not equate to much of a sacrifice.

  • John Thomas

    No doubt the ABp acted out of good, real, motives/emotions, rather than the cynical gesture he is accused of – but it’s still fair to say: Helping a family of refugees is perhaps unfair to many others who have equally-strong claims on his compassion and, Has he really thought it out? Will the family he houses have any occupation? How will they spend their time? Will they be there for … a long time … for ever? How will they be supported? – etc.

  • Sybaseguru

    When I look to biblical examples I find that the next door country was the destiny of choice (not half way round the world), and people returned to their own country when the problem went away. These were not migrants but temporary visitors, they had no vote, little support other than their own hard work, but were given rough land to live on.
    Seems Camerons support of camps in areas surrounding ISIS/Syria is about right.

  • len

    Having compassion for the weak the defenceless and striving to help those in need is a good and honourable thing to do( and following Gods Will to help those in need) but it is not exclusively Christian….. atheists do as much….

    There will be little controversy about giving up a few rooms in Lambeth Palace but how about following God`s will in more weight matters such as gay marriage, women priests, speaking against the corruption in the Media Government and business ?.
    The Church needs to tell people the truth regarding what God defies as sin as people today seem to call’ good’ what the bible defines as sin. Sin has become ‘acceptable’ to many people today . Without this clear definition regarding sin needing’ a Saviour’ becomes meaningless”. Saviour from what?” they say.

    I realise Welby is doing some sort of balancing act trying to hold his fragmenting Church together but ultimately his responsibility is to God not the church the government or the media..

    The Church seems to have lost its way and seeking to be ‘relevant’ is in danger of becoming a social organisation rather than a means to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ….

  • Bashing the bishop is a euphemism for a popular if private schoolboy activity also known as choking the chicken. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Choking apart, we ought to help Syrian refugees and should take several tens of thousands. Suitably screened for jihadism of course. We would have more room for them if we’d not taken so many million economic migrants.