Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The difficulties of dialoguing with Islam


"What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" asked Tertullian in his Prescription against Heretics (VII), as he sought to defend the purity of the gospel of faith from the faithless philosophy of men. The question was answered partially at least by St Paul himself in his mission-pulsing Areopagus speech, where the Jewish doctrine of God was expounded to the heathen of Athens. Perhaps it wasn't fully addressed until a thousand years after Tertullian, when Europe's scholastics asked: "What has Jesus to do with Aristotle?" In the Latin traditions of the Hellenised West, we are still living with the socio-theological and religio-political consequences.

What has Mecca to do with Rome? What has Mohammed to do with Jesus?

Christianity does not dialogue with Islam: Christians talk to Muslims and Muslims talk to Christians, and thence flows mutual understanding of theological precepts and perceptions of divinity. But bishops tend to be deficient in Arabic, and imams aren't too good at Koine Greek. They can chat in broken English over a kebab and a plate of hummus, but truths are veiled in the mutual misunderstandings of dynamic equivalence. What has justice to do with القاضي?

In an manichæan-eschatological frame of mind, we have long heard about a coming "clash of civilisations" and, more recently, warnings of "Muslim encroachment" and an "Islamic conquest of Europe", as mass immigration and multiculturalism challenge our religious traditions and cultural identity. We observe an increasingly precarious cohabitation. The Christian response ought to be the peaceful proclamation of the day of salvation; instead we get wrapped up in assertions of morality and expressions of dominion.

Many of those who comment on "the problem of Islam" have never met a Muslim, let alone read the Qur'an. And the meeting of Muslims is as depthless as the reading of the Quran, for they must be made our friends and it must be examined, expounded and understood. There is no dialogue in a handshake on the steps of a mosque.

Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini lived in predominantly Muslim nations for 50 years. His comments below were written following a Christian-Muslim synod in October 1999, in Izmir, Turkey.


Most British Muslims are very happy to talk about their faith, expound the transcendence of Allah and justify the actions of their prophet. Many are eager to talk humbly about their religion and their beliefs about its place in pluralist society, and they will do so respectfully and courteously over a plate of fish and chips and a pint. But there can be no dialogue with fundamentalist forms of Islam, which is what many term "proper" or "true" Islam, because it has nothing to learn. We can discuss with Muslims the devotional similarities of Ramadan and Lent, and this may well extend to musing about doctrines of soteriology and the meaning of salvation. But fundamentalism knows no moderates and tolerates no compromise.

Archbishop Bernardini has found that there is no happy via media in Muslim-Christian dialogue; there is no halfway house in the Dar al-Islam. And his experience will confirm in the minds of many what they think they already know. For others, it will fortify them in their missiological desire to reach out and inculturate to know and understand. Still others will seek to forge a "reformed" Islam that is contiguous with the political values of liberal democracy, respecting diversity and tolerating difference. 

But fundamentalist Islam despises humility, liberty and democracy. While our arms ache with holding out olive branches, fanatical Muslims are busy sharpening their scythes. We cannot ignore a programme of expansion and conquest which is being facilitated by the very liberties we prize and which they seek to eradicate. They are determined in their politics and dogmatic in their religion. Our polity is plural and our religion is liberal. They have carved out supremacy under our laws of equality.

Interfaith dialogue is good for forging relationships and building confidence. In a secularised world of spiritual decline and moral decay there is much upon which Christians and Muslims can cooperate and make common cause. But let us not forget the way, the truth and the life.  And let us not be ashamed to preach the gospel in season and out of it, and live the faith in our every word and action.

What has xenophobia to do with Christianity?

393 Comments:

Blogger FridgeMagnet said...

"We will use your democratic laws."
Rings many bells. "Freedom" was a very over-used word during the veiling debate last year, as it has been for many other debates. One thing struck me this year, when early on in the Birmingham Schools investigation, a head teacher was interviewed on the news. He was asked some questions about the allegations, and eventually answered, "That's freedom of speech." But the question put to him didn't demand an answer anywhere near that. It was almost as if he'd got stuck for an answer and resorted to the last defence possible, and it didn't make sense, unless you realised why he was using it. Pretty much at that point, I made up my mind that something was indeed happening in those schools.

26 August 2014 10:09  
Blogger William Lewis said...

"Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to your religious laws we will dominate you."

A declaration of war and it's clear that dialogue will not bring "peace for our time". Islam cannot stagnate; it will either dominate, by hook or by crook, or be subjugated.

26 August 2014 11:02  
Blogger Albert said...

It is extremely difficult to reach out to Islam. Some of our greatest missionaries have tried it, like St Francis, but made very little impact. Islam somehow manages to cocoon followers against any kind of fundamental challenge to their faith.

Is this self-confidence, or the lack of it?

What they certainly think (if this post is anything to go by) is that we lack self-confidence. It is true that the West does, because it has dropped its Christian metaphysical underpinnings and resting on nothing.

Therefore, the problem for the West isn't Islam, but secularism.

26 August 2014 11:05  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

In islam there is no compromise, no compassion and no forgiveness. They don't want dialogue, they want total submission. I'd prefer people's energies to be spent on something useful such as efforts to remove islam from our country rather than constantly making concessions and excuses for its intolerance and violence.

26 August 2014 11:14  
Blogger The Explorer said...

When Christanity has believed in itself (or, more strictly, in its founder) it has more than held its own against Islam.

When it has tried to make peace with secularism (in the Christian sense of the word) it has simply become secularism.

26 August 2014 11:19  
Blogger Ivan said...

It is extremely difficult to reach out to Islam

The first reason is that the doctrines of Islam are lies. Since they assert the polar opposite of what is stated in the NT. With Hindus and such, there is no such problem as they have not been taught that the NT is a tissue of lies.

The second is that knowing that they are lying, they double down and accuse everyone else of lying, to they point of denying simple rules of logic.

Dialogue is impossible with liars and should not even be attempted. Only the Holy Spirit can help in these cases.


26 August 2014 11:20  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

Exactly! The question of Islam is not one of military power. If it were, we would simply win. It is a question of belief. But the West doesn't believe in anything, secularism has forbidden it. Therefore, in a bizarre parody of Christianity, we are strong, and yet we are weak.

If the West doesn't start to believe in something soon, then it will never be able to stand.

26 August 2014 11:27  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

To mix a literary reference: Islam at it's heart, has The Heart of Darkness. It was born of violence, rape and plunder and has been at war with its neighbours almost as long as it has been at war within itself.

You don't have to be a student of history to trace its trajectory; its in the news today and will be there again tomorrow.

There will be no peace for any Society in which it is spreading its poisonous roots. While it has access to funds, technology, modern weaponry and those who give it succour, we should worry for our grandchildren.

We should not be intimidated into silence or denial that it is a man-induced cancer that will one day have to be cut out.

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”


Winston Churchill - The River War
free to public download
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4943/4943-h/4943-h.htm#link2HCH0001

26 August 2014 11:27  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

Dialog with Islam is impossible because there is no common ground of reason or logic.

Islam deliberately abandoned rationality centuries ago and adopted a position of absolute fundamental presuppositionalism regarding the Koran, which trumps all logical arguments and all empirical evidence.

26 August 2014 11:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Western multi-faithers command me recognise Islam as an equal with the same God as mine.

I cannot agree.

In Judaism, I can recognise the same God I worship (as I found recently when I attended the funeral of a Jewish friend); but in Islam, I'm afraid I can't.

I can't see Islam as equal, either, becasue I find it so derivative at every turn. And inferior, where it is original. I hope I would have the courage to die, rather than accept it. As others have had to do: in the past, and now.

I see Christianity as the fulfilment of Judaism, and of what was true in paganism. Devout Jews, of course (including the one who recently died), do not agree with me; I don't know any devout pagans.

I do not see Islam as the fulfilment of Christianity. Instead, I find a muddled distortion.

26 August 2014 11:48  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Albert (11:27)—In Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Christopher Caldwell quotes an article by the Israeli diplomat Mordechai Lewy in which Lewy distinguishes between Christianity, which he calls a guilt culture, and Islam, a blame culture: ‘In the open or undeclared conflict between the two cultures, the West cannot act freely, by reason of its self-imposed moral constraints. This self-restraint is not honoured by the blame-attributing culture of the East, but is instead taken for weakness.’

If the West is weak in the face of Islam, Christianity, with its fine-sounding but wholly impractical ‘Love thine enemy’, has helped make it weak.

26 August 2014 12:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

I wonder how the Crusades fits within the narrative you are offering. Or the fact that Christians drove Islam out from first France and then Spain - requiring 700 years of commitment. Or the fact that the Eastern Christian Empire, based at Constantinople held the Eastern flank of Europe against Islam for longer even than that. Or the fact that it was Christians who several times defended Vienna and therefore Europe from Muslims conquest.

The last of these occasions was in 1683. Thus, at a conservative estimate, Christianity defended Europe from Islamic expansionism for over 1000 years. Judging by the secular posters here, secularism has dropped the ball within little more than generation of having cultural hegemony.

From this I think we can dismiss Mordechai Lewy's analysis. Oddly, his analysis is reminiscent of Hitler's analysis of Western democracy. He was sure we wouldn't fight, and for a time, it looked like he was right. But he was wrong.

26 August 2014 12:25  
Blogger Albert said...

Incidentally, Johnny, the kind of interpretation you are offering of "love thy enemy" did not seem to stop Christians developing a theory of just war. As long ago as St Augustine of Hippo, the exegesis was worked out. Thus again, the analysis you have offered is false.

26 August 2014 12:28  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Thank you, Albert, for kindly sharing your new N for Nazarene avatar. As you can see, I am delighted to follow your lead.

Regards
Brian

26 August 2014 13:42  
Blogger Albert said...

We should all be doing it!

26 August 2014 13:51  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Albert (12:25)—While you relive past glories, I am more concerned with Christianity’s supine attitude to Islam today, and its implications for tomorrow. This time round, if we do rid ourselves of Islam, it will be in spite of Christianity and its contemporary belief, as enunciated by yourself at 11:05, that Islam is not a problem for the West.

26 August 2014 13:59  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

Your post at 12.16 required a historical rebuttal because your claim was to do with the essence of Christianity (hence your quotation of "Love your enemy"). It was necessary to show that your interpretation of Christianity was false.

As for Christian contemporary belief, I think Explorer makes a good point @11.19:

When Christanity has believed in itself (or, more strictly, in its founder) it has more than held its own against Islam.When it has tried to make peace with secularism (in the Christian sense of the word) it has simply become secularism.

In other words, we have the historical evidence to show Christianity more than has what it takes. We can also see the cause of its present weakness: secularism.

In contrast, we have no evidence of secularism being the solution and plenty of evidence that it is not.

Regarding my comment @11.05, my point would be that Islam would not be a problem for us, were it not for secularism. I cannot see that you have provided any evidence at all therefore, to defend your position. Rather, all the evidence seems to tell on the other side.

The defence here is not military power, and it certainly isn't unjust behaviour towards Muslims. The defence is one of belief. But secularism has been trying to sideline belief and that is why we are weak.

26 August 2014 15:10  
Blogger Len said...

How do you have dialogue with someone who cannot admit to the be possibility of their being wrong on any aspect of their theology because if they do they will have to admit that their religion is flawed?.
We find this with most if not all of the religious sects.
It is quite interesting that those who rely heavily on the Word of God for 'authority' for their religion have also exposed themselves as frauds when they replace God`s teachings with their own.We see this with Islam , Catholicism & branches of Protestant Christianity because if God`s Word is inerrant then these religions are false because they all take up teachings which oppose the Word of God.

26 August 2014 15:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

It is quite interesting that those who rely heavily on the Word of God for 'authority' for their religion have also exposed themselves as frauds when they replace God`s teachings with their own.We see this with Islam , Catholicism & branches of Protestant Christianity because if God`s Word is inerrant then these religions are false because they all take up teachings which oppose the Word of God.

You missed out Leninism from your list of errant religions.

26 August 2014 15:50  
Blogger Len said...

Albert wait a minute I am getting to that...

26 August 2014 15:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Expectans expectavi

26 August 2014 16:06  
Blogger Len said...

What we can quite clearly see(especially in the barbaric form of Islam known as IS) is the way 'religion' has been used as 'a vehicle' for unscrupulous men to consolidate power and control over the masses and a means to gain wealth power and position.
Mohammed created' a religion' which would give free expression to whatever lusts and desires he wanted to express and if' the wrong sort' of people get hold of a means to' legitimize' their violent natures they will find a religion (and an interpretation of that religion)to allow free expression of these.This happened within forms of Christianity.Much of what goes under the guise of 'religion' is as much (if not more) 'political' in nature .
Of course secularism and communism are also means of controlling humanity (or at least sections of it)and often those at the top of the pyramid have lifestyles greatly more luxurious than those at the bottom.
Protestants are in many cases not a lot better one only has to look at 'the money preachers' who are abusing the Gospel to gain wealth to see how corruption can so easily gain access to the hearts of men.
Of course the Gospel of Jesus Christ stands far apart from all this and should not be compared to this concept of 'religion 'which man has so debased that it is despised by many.

26 August 2014 16:18  
Blogger The Explorer said...

I had a chat once with a C of E vicar involved in inter-faith dialogue.

He expressed his exasperation that the only Christians Muslims respected were those who thought that only Christianity was true. (He himself was not one of tha ilk: in fact, I don't think he believed any religion to be anything other than myth.)

The Muslims disagreed, of course: if only Islam is true, how can Christianity be? But they respected the stance: however mistaken.

The Muslims had no time whatever for the view that all religions are deserving of equal respect.

No surprises there. As conscientious Muslims (and they were) how could they think otherwise?

The group disbanded later. The Hindus returned to Hinduism, the Sikhs to Sikhism, The Muslims to Islam, and the Vicar to fuzz.

26 August 2014 16:24  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Albert (15:10)—We can also see the cause of its present weakness: secularism

The cause of Christianity’s weakness is the arrival of Islam and multiculturalism. Christianity is weakened by being duty bound to love its enemy, Islam, and multiculturalism has weakened Christianity by relegating it from its position as the West’s only religion, bar Judaism, to one of any number of religions. And Christianity not only welcomes its enemy but turns against those of its own folk who criticize the enemy. Why shoot yourself in one foot when you can shoot yourself in both?

I am encouraged by your interpretation of ‘Love thine enemy’. What I had taken for a divine command turns out to be an optional extra. I look forward to Christians proving they have what it takes and driving Islam out of Europe. Failing a display of military prowess, they can exercise their stout resolve by voting for an anti-Islam party like the BNP… or they could if Christianity didn’t tell them it was racist. The essence of weakness fills the air once again.

26 August 2014 16:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

Christianity is weakened by being duty bound to love its enemy, Islam

So how do you answer the historical case that Christianity is quite capable of resisting Islam? It's not good you talking about "past glories". If you think Christianity doesn't have what it takes, then you need to show what has changed. Evidently, the change is not in Christianity itself. I suggest to you that the Explorer is correct, if Christianity has weakened, it is because of secularism.

I am encouraged by your interpretation of ‘Love thine enemy’. What I had taken for a divine command turns out to be an optional extra.

Is that the interpretation I gave? Look again! The word I used was exegesis. The issue being therefore not that the text is an optional extra, but what the meaning of the text is. For example, the passage may be speaking of the individual, but not of the state. It certainly does not mean to forbid punishment, provided it is done in compassion, neither does it forbid violence done to protect the common good.

I look forward to Christians proving they have what it takes and driving Islam out of Europe. Failing a display of military prowess, they can exercise their stout resolve by voting for an anti-Islam party like the BNP

You see, this is how secularism is to weak. Firstly, it removes any moral basis for defending Western culture, then when Western culture feels threatened, it moves towards unjust policies, because having removed all moral bases, it no longer has any basis for defending other people's basic human rights. This is quite simply because those rights have no content or basis on a secular world-view. So they only obtain for as long as an individual wants them to obtain. The moment, someone wants to lump all Muslims, even wholly innocent, good and law-abiding Muslims in with ISIS claims are made to remove them.

But the point I am trying to make is that, if society followed Christian values, we would not be in this position in the first place. As A Christian I think Europe should be self-confident in its Christian culture and heritage, and from that perspective of strength, I am prepared to defend the basic human rights of any person, be he Muslim, Jew, homosexual, disabled or whatever.

26 August 2014 17:18  
Blogger Manfarang said...

And dispute ye not with the People of the Book except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong and injury: But say: 'We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which has come down to you; Our God and your God is one; and it is to Him We bow (in Islam).'”

(Qur'an 29:46)

26 August 2014 17:19  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness, what a to-do! Mr Slope, the Archdeacon and I have just successfully dislodged Mustafa Fatwah, Barchester's very own Jihadist and purveyor of kebabs, from the Chapel of St. Anthony the Abbot, where he has been for some days involved in what he calls a 'dirty protest.' It seems he has taken great exception to the fifteenth century oil panel by the Master of the Foolish Virgins, which depicts St Anthony with a pig. Now, many believe St Anthony to be the patron saint of swineherds, but the origin of the pig symbol relates to his treatment of skin diseases with pig fat. I shan't describe the 'dirty protest,' but I for one am not laundering his trousers. We have no intention of submitting to his demand to have the 'pig' painted over because it 'offends' him. Pandering to such nonsense only begats further nonsense. As for engaging in dialogue with him the answer's Foxtrot Oscar...

26 August 2014 17:30  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

There you have it Cranmer, and straight away at that. The archbishop has been living in a country that is 99.9% muslim. What a remarkable faith Islam is, to have so impressed the peoples of that country with its doctrines, that they’ve all signed up to the religion of peace, and willingly with it. The truth though is rather more prosaic. Like bully boy thugs everywhere, and in the style of the mafia, Islam issued the outsiders an offer they couldn’t refuse. It really was that ‘good’ and it promised ‘eternal peace’ one way or the other. You’d have been a fool to let the chance slip by, or so they will tell you at your end.

We have to dialogue with these people then. Really ??

What is the bloody point ? These Christian-Muslim meetings are a farce. We all know what lies behind them. Meetings are the West’s way of getting something it wants without having to shed blood over it. The idea being that Allah’s representatives ‘see sense’, back down and concede a point. Any point. Just one would validate more meetings from here to ever. Hardly surprising then that Islam doesn’t initiate these meetings. They don’t require negotiation because they hold a strong hand. One is rather surprised they even bother to turn up. Perhaps when they don’t, we should all go on yellow alert. Time would then be short indeed.

Keep banging on about the dangers, old chap. A country needs you !

26 August 2014 18:00  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

I say, do we have any Christian ‘negotiators’ on board today, past, present or future ? You know who you are, types prepared to sell us into Islamic slavery if you could achieve ‘a greater understanding between the two faiths’ in the process.

Middle class and deeply reverent innocents in the main. If you extract them from their cosy world of assured comfort and let them loose in the wild to fend for themselves, they wouldn’t last half a day. Yet there they are, representing the increasingly decadent West. Perhaps we really do deserve no better.

Anyway, here’s some advice for you…

If you think there is good in everyone, then think again – You haven’t met everyone”. Worthwhile reminding yourselves that when engaged in your so called constructive talks with Islamic scholars. You won’t be meeting their sons armed to the teeth, and dripping hate. Just like they were when young men.





26 August 2014 18:01  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Inspector
I haven't met everyone but I have met thousands of Muslims and known hundreds.
Dialogue? Well there is no /p/ sound in Arabic...

26 August 2014 18:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Johnny: "Failing a display of military prowess, they can exercise their stout resolve by voting for an anti-Islam party like the BNP… or they could if Christianity didn’t tell them it was racist."

I'd rather we collectively recognised and stood up for values, arguing for freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom of the individual, and so on. That is, recognise what we like about living in the UK: the freedom, the stability, the opportunities, the eccentricity, the tolerance, and so on. From that, we ought to set out very clear principles, create a constitution, and shape society accordingly. That means restricting immigration, including the families of spouses. Recognising dangers to our freedom, including ideological ones, and acting accordingly. Christianity is dead as a cultural force in the UK, and there's no point trying to flog it into life. If believing in Christianity would be sufficient to create a bulwark against Islamism, without becoming excessively illiberal in the process, then I daresay believing in secular values would fill the same role.

26 August 2014 18:16  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.

"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.

"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.

"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.


Read more http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/

26 August 2014 18:28  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear DanJ0, we have a constitution...or we did have until Mr Blair tore it up. But I do agree with much of what you say in term of restricting immigration, so I shall knit you a muffler and pop it into the post. There again, dearest DanJ0, being a paid up member of the knitting circle you could probably muster one up for yourself. Perhaps a hobnob instead?

26 August 2014 18:32  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 August 2014 18:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Mrs P: "Dear DanJ0, we have a constitution...or we did have until Mr Blair tore it up."

Well, we have a constitution of sorts.

26 August 2014 18:40  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Albert (17:18)—you need to show what has changed
● I have. Christianity is weaker because the Europe in which Christianity operates has changed from white and Christian to multicultural and multi-faith. The House of Bishops’ Affirming our Common Humanity attempts to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by instructing Christians to welcome the changes that have weakened their faith on the grounds that they enable Christians to ‘celebrate the diversity found in the human family.’ Even better, the British have to endure their country becoming a multicultural cesspit so that the Church can ‘witness to and anticipate the unity of all peoples that will be found in Christ at the end of time.’ (As the end of time is probably millions of years off, you would have thought the Church could easily postpone its witnessing and anticipating for a while and make life a bit easier for the British.) It’s only since the advent of multiculturalism that Christianity has had to come out with such rubbish, a sure sign of a weak and demoralized faith, a fate it has brought on itself.

this is how secularism is so weak
● England combined Christianity and secularism for most of her history without coming to any harm. The rot set in 60 years ago when Islam arrived and there issued from Christianity not a peep.

from that perspective of strength, I am prepared to defend the basic human rights of any person, be he Muslim…
● If it’s going to defend the basic human right of Muslims to have large families, Christianity may as well shut up shop now.

26 August 2014 19:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 August 2014 20:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Johnny: "If it’s going to defend the basic human right of Muslims to have large families, Christianity may as well shut up shop now."

That's what I would like to know: what are the political changes that will follow from having confidence in our Christian heritage?

26 August 2014 20:03  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Watch your arse Rottenborough, you have a disciple...

26 August 2014 20:21  
Blogger Martin Marprelate said...

So much to say.
Certainly the Archbishop is right: keep Moslems out of Roman catholic churches. The idolatry will horrify them. Also 'interfaith dialogue' with Moslems is as big a waste of time as it is with the Church of Rome- all take and no give.

Yet there is no need to despair. Many Moslems are disgusted with the violence perpetrated in the name of their religion and are coming to Christ in large numbers in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. Needless to say, they have to keep jolly quiet about it but you can find some detail on the M.E.R.F. website. There is also the case of Iran. There were only around 50 evangelical Christians when the Shah got kicked out; now there are around a million, all converts from Islam in the teeth of the most dreadful persecution. "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God?.......It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air nest under its shade."

We need to have confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ, confidence in the Gospel, and the determination to live lives that reflect our faith. We need to relate to our Moslem neighbours with love and hold out before them the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.

26 August 2014 20:31  
Blogger IanCad said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 August 2014 20:44  
Blogger IanCad said...

I have to ask the question:

If there can be no such thing as a moderate Muslim, then how do we explain the survival of not only Christians, but; Horrors! Those pesky Jews, in cities such as Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran and Mosul?

Now granted, dhimmitude has generally been the status of Non-Muslims in those places, but that in itself, at a stretch, is a form of moderation.

I am fast coming to the conclusion that, if many of the posters on this thread had been on the Titanic there would have been far fewer women and children making it back home.

26 August 2014 20:54  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

IanCad. One understands the concept of 'women and children first' was only obtainable through gun point.

26 August 2014 20:59  
Blogger TigerO said...

Albert said;
But the point I am trying to make is that, if society followed Christian values, we would not be in this position in the first place. As A Christian I think Europe should be self-confident in its Christian culture and heritage, and from that perspective of strength, I am prepared to defend the basic human rights of any person, be he Muslim, Jew, homosexual, disabled or whatever.

Therein lies your problem. Would you knowingly invite a serial killer into your home for a meal in the belief that your hospitality would appeal to his "innate goodness" and spare your life.

Islam, like Christianity, is more than a religion, it is a way of life, law and societal structure. The two religions are incompatible within a single space.

Islam seeks to enjoy your hospitality and the meal but like the serial killer he will kill you, literally.

26 August 2014 20:59  
Blogger IanCad said...

Darn it!! IGIO

Another illusion shattered.

Come to think of it though; Wasn't it the just the poor steerage passengers who needed such persuasion? And didn't the First Class gentlemen behave with gallantry?
A few exceptions maybe.

26 August 2014 21:18  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

Christianity is weaker because the Europe in which Christianity operates has changed from white and Christian to multicultural and multi-faith.

Well now you are defending a different position from the one your raised originally. You described Christianity as unable to respond because it is a guilt culture. Now your position is now similar to my own. It's just that I see multiculturalism as linked with secularism. Multiculturalism was promoted as a way of downgrading Christianity.

The House of Bishops’

do not speak for me.

England combined Christianity and secularism for most of her history without coming to any harm.

You're joking, surely?

The rot set in 60 years ago when Islam arrived and there issued from Christianity not a peep.

Because Muslims, in themselves, are not a problem. A generation ago, your average Muslim was a hard working, law abiding, Labour voter. The kind of extremism we see in small pockets either did not exist or was not visible. The Church has no interest attacking innocent Muslims. They are not the problem. What happened in the last 60 years is that secularism took away our common culture. You can't defend a culture that isn't there.

If it’s going to defend the basic human right of Muslims to have large families, Christianity may as well shut up shop now.

If this were a properly Christian country, we wouldn't have the contraceptive mentality which has reduced the size of our families. The result of this would be that, we wouldn't be needing to import our workforce, and those immigrants that were here, would be out-producing the natives.

I say again: for the last generation or two secularism has been the dominant motive of society. This has happened on your watch. Complaining that Christianity is weak, when secularism, especially when allied with the left, set out to weaken Christianity won't wash.

26 August 2014 21:26  
Blogger Albert said...

TigerO

Islam seeks to enjoy your hospitality and the meal but like the serial killer he will kill you, literally.

Islam can exist perfectly peacefully in a self-confident Christian culture. Now if there is a cultural vacuum then any imported belief system is a potential threat. To find a way out of our present situation, we shouldn't be blaming innocent people because they are Muslims. We should be asking why we have a cultural vacuum. It is obvious that this cultural vacuum has been quite deliberately created by secularists. Having identified the problem, we know what the solution is.

26 August 2014 21:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Correction:

The result of this would be that, we wouldn't be needing to import our workforce, and those immigrants that were here, wouldn't be out-producing the natives.

26 August 2014 21:32  
Blogger Albert said...

I say this to those who wish to blame Christianity for our present situation: as secularism is the motive of our society, you secularists sort out what you perceive to be the problem. But see that your solution does not violate the human rights of innocent people of any religious belief or none.

What is your solution?

26 August 2014 21:33  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

IanCad. One understands that a few notables failed to make it. But money talks, even on a doomed liner with insufficient lifeboats and a crew that could expect to get a whole years pay put into their hands by the eager passenger. This man stands not in judgement of what happened. It’s always been to him a dreadful artificial situation of man’s making, rather like mass muslim immigration...

26 August 2014 21:49  
Blogger Preacher said...

There can never be unity between Islam & Christianity. They are poles apart & will remain so eternally.
I am talking about real, gospel based, Holy Spirit filled, no holds barred preaching, of Christ & the Cross as the only source of man's salvation & safety from the wrath of God on the day of judgement & the eternal loss they have chosen for themselves, Christianity.
Not the pap that is served up every Sunday in many Churches throughout the West by professional clergy whose main aim is to keep the congregation happy & entertained in case the sheep go off to another flock down the road.
Every person who bears the title of Christ-ian should know & be ready, willing & able to share the gospel with all enquirers, with love & compassion but without the soft, huggy, teddy bear God that many Western Christians desire. A weak, powerless deity that turns a blind eye to their little peccadilloes with a nudge & a wink.

The God that we serve died on a cross for six hours of torment & agony to save us from judgement.
It was no mistake - it was the climax of his ministry. He knew the cost & left Heaven to pay it.
How dare we portray Him in the way that many do today.
Because of this, Islam sees us as weak. We do not need to seek a dialogue with Islam, we need to tell the Muslim & the Hindu & the Buddhist who live down our streets the gospel & release the power of the Holy Spirit to complete the job.
That's all it needs. any takers?.

26 August 2014 22:03  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian C & Inspector:

Don't forget the anti-British bias of the film 'Titanic'.

Remember that a town in Scotland wanted to sue James Cameron for the depiction of Murdoch. There was an out-of-court donation to calm things down.

Walter Lord's 'A Night to Remember', written when survivors were still able to give testimony, is probably closer to the truth.

He suggests that the first lifeboats were nearly empty because people still felt safer on the ship. It was only later, when the certaianty of sinking became apparent, that the rush to the remaining boats began.


PS: re 20:54 post. Opinions differ re remaining number of Jews in Baghdad. Some say five, some seven, some eight.

26 August 2014 22:23  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Your Grace,
A remarkable Post and such reasoned comments that confirm you communicants are with you.

Secularism has caused the failure of opposition to not only Islam in this country but all things immoral and evil. It has said that different religions must be able to get along with each other.

As others have said, week kneed Christians forget the call to stand firm and fall back on the 'God is Love' tack.

Preacher, preach it to them.


26 August 2014 23:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Shadrach: "Secularism has caused the failure of opposition to not only Islam in this country but all things immoral and evil. It has said that different religions must be able to get along with each other."

What are you proposing instead? That freedom of thought, conscience and religion is limited by the State, which should be Christian, so that a belief in Islam and manifesting it peacefully is not acceptable in the UK?

26 August 2014 23:20  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Albert (21:26)—My position is unchanged. Christianity is a guilt culture. In a wholly Christian society, that’s of little importance but when Christianity is forced to coexist with a blame culture like Islam, Christianity is at a permanent disadvantage. Contrast the assertiveness of Islam with the emollience of Christianity. If we go on as we are, giving in to Islam, Christianity is finished. Its epitaph: ‘Nice but Dead’.

Muslims, in themselves, are not a problem
● ‘You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.’—Archbishop of Mosul

For God’s sake, listen to the guy. You might learn something. Or doesn’t he speak for you?

26 August 2014 23:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hmmmm .... we're none too sure what to do, are we? Prayer and evangelising on the one hand; suppression of Islam on the other. With clinging to our liberal-democratic principles somewhere in the middle hoping we can muddle through in this green and pleasant land.

Rome has tried and continues to try to engage in a discussion with both Islam and Judaism founded on a rational discussion about the attributes of God and the worth of all individuals. Jack believes is too some to abandon this because of some religious nutters and the power politics going on the Middle East. With Jews and Muslims this starts from the premise we share something in common and worship a Supreme Being who values each of us. Together, by searching and discussing our Holy Books, we may come to a better mutual understanding. Whether this bears fruit has yet to be seen. There are other forces at work.

Jack believes the Church should evangelise in the name of Jesus Christ. But just how far will this actually get us with Muslims and Jews at this stage? It's not actually working with Christians! Look at where the churches are heading! There is so much violent history and baggage between us and we need to try to find common based on who God is and some over-arching principles of freedom of faith and worship and the value of individuals.

This will not work with Islamist fundamentalists and we need to root them and their financial backers out - including Saudi Arabia.

Let's face the West has brought all this upon itself. Wealth, economic prosperity, 'enlightenment', a soft deistic belief leading to a liberal abandonment of God.
No good blaming the Muslims - or the Jews.

Having achieved the removal of religion and Christian influence from our society what are we left with to resist Islam? Group prejudice? repression and force? An authoritarian and totalitarian government? Some want to break the rules of civilised conduct to protect a civilised nation. And what will our future state be based on? What will bind it together? Fear? A theory of the innate superiority of western man - not the faith that made him strong in the first place? Or some other ideology? Something will have to fill the vacuum.

In Russia you are welcome if you respect the Christian faith. Practice your own religion or be an atheist, you will be tolerated but your beliefs will not be accepted as 'equal' or 'equivalent' to Christianity. No religious indifference there. Leave religious radicalism or liberal relativism with you if you want to live in Russia.

Let's use prayer - but let's also analyse why we're here. We could do a lost worse that returning to protecting and promoting good old fashioned married family life.

26 August 2014 23:57  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2014 00:42  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0 18:16
“Christianity is dead as a cultural force in the UK, and there's no point trying to flog it into life. If believing in Christianity would be sufficient to create a bulwark against Islamism, without becoming excessively illiberal in the process, then I daresay believing in secular values would fill the same role.”

No Christianity is not dead, people's minds are closed to it rather than seeing it in the context of our daily lives, they have shut it out.

27 August 2014 00:45  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Hello again Marie 1797. In case you haven't seen it, I replied yesterday evening at 21:57, on the "Islamic State presents ..." thread, to your query of the evening before.

I'm happy to see that you too have adopted Albert's N for Nazarene avatar!

Regards
Brian

27 August 2014 00:52  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

PS. When I said "yesterday evening" I meant the 25th. Getting my time zones in a twist. Sorry.

27 August 2014 00:54  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Goodness!

These new avatars are confusing!

27 August 2014 01:53  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

JR

"For God’s sake, listen to the guy. You might learn something. Or doesn’t he speak (Archbishop of Mosul) for you?"

Well no, he doesn't speak for on behalf of the universal Church for all Catholics - only one person has the authority to do that. And Rome tends not to emote and as it looks ahead it weighs up many options.

For example, the Auckland Anglican and Roman Catholic Bishops have recently asked the New Zealand Government to call on Israel to return to “its pre-1967 borders as a pre-requisite for dialogue to establish a lasting and just settlement in the Holy Land.”

Go figure! Trust those bad, nasty Arabs? Ah, but then, Israel is unlikely to be so stupid - having an inbuilt survival mechanism and such influence in Washington. 


27 August 2014 02:07  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Just one last thought before bed.

Do not underestimate the scholarship of Arabia. It is widely held (Jack has not extensively researched this) that Greek philosophy and Aristotle's works came to both Maimonides and Aquinas via Arabic translations.

27 August 2014 02:27  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Uncle Brian
Yes thanks I saw it and Happy Jack's replies too.
Even though the quote was probably someone joining the dots and adding one, from what I am reading about Vladimir Putin and Demitri Medvedev there's no way sharia law would be entertained in Russia. They won't be making the same mistakes as us.

Our soppy government need to take a leaf out of their book and do likewise. It's admirable what Putin is doing for Russia, he's on a higher level. Of course his mother is Russian Orthodox Christian and so is he.

I'm ashamed of this country, we let in all sorts of foreign criminals and allow them to run amok establishing their own lifestyles, raping our children, stealing our things, killing our people, that's not freedom, that's careless abandonment and this has permeated though-out society. In a country as small as ours and with such a huge population of many cultures, freedom has to be managed carefully with Britians best interests at the heart.

I copied Albert's avatar in solidarity.

27 August 2014 02:46  
Blogger Ivan said...

Actually to describe Turkey as a 99.9% Muslim country is not accurate. though there may well be a few going crazy over the prospect of ruling with the ISIS. About 35% of Turks would describe themselves as secularists. And even among the Muslims, there are many like my hero Harun Yahya, the famous anti-Darwinist, who know how to live it up.

http://balkanist.net/the-islamic-sex-cult-supporting-turkeys-prime-minister/

27 August 2014 03:47  
Blogger Ivan said...


Johnny R, is right to be skeptical of the Christian leaders in his country. After all did any one of them whether Catholic or Protestant take the side of the helpless victims of the Pakistani grooming gangs? They would rather condemn Nick Griffin for raising a ruckus and spoiling their biryani buffets with Muslim soothsayers. I would be skeptical too if it had happened in my country. But fortunately the priests and nuns in my part of the world, have a pretty good idea of what they are up against. Since the churches are content to mouth platitudes, the tough guys who want action would rather stay on the outside.

27 August 2014 05:16  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Happy Jack
"In Russia you are welcome if you respect the Christian faith"
A big counry which has its Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.
Tolstoy had some good insights into Christianity.

27 August 2014 05:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie :"No Christianity is not dead, people's minds are closed to it rather than seeing it in the context of our daily lives, they have shut it out."

Oh c'mon, the vast majority of people in the UK are not lost sheep for whom a bit of cajoling would work wonders for their religosity. Quite possibly they woukd tolerate a Christian emphasis in Government anyway but only to the point where it starts to impacts their own lives and choices. We've grown used to making our own judgements and deciding our own paths in life, I can't see many giving that up in favour of (say) a Church-centred mono-culture like that of Ireland in the 1950s. We are where we are now, and if there is a problem with Islam and/or Islamism the I'm interested in what practical steps people here would like to take to resolve it. The centre politics people, I mean, as we've heard plenty from the right and far-right people. What liberties would be sacrificed, or what changes would be made. No condoms anymore, and 3 kids to a bedroom? Compulsory Christian prayers before work for everyone? Muslims made into Christian 'dhimmis'? What?

27 August 2014 06:30  
Blogger Hannah said...

Interfaith dialogue is Good, but what Islam needs to do is to tackle it's own internal extremists publicly, we are told they are a minority and don't represent their faith. Let's see it then.

27 August 2014 07:30  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

Danjo, what liberties will be sacrificed if Islam took over?

There may not be a way of preventing Islamification and shariah for UK that is consisted with delicate liberal sensitivities.

Practicalities? Recognise the threat, teach true history of jihad and stop immigration for a start. But I fear this is 'far right' so disallowed.

Prominent government lawyer Jeffry Robinson QC on radio 4 yesterday said we aren't allowed to stop UK jihad is returning from head cutting activities in Syria/Iraq-probably most have been doing charity work or visiting granny anyway.

Oh well' let's just allow history to take its course then.

27 August 2014 08:00  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Marie 1797 @ 02.46

Well said !

Our governments have failed to protect us, our constitution or our people. They have all been wet, saturated in fact, in utter impractical nonsense, and it's clearly not working. In fact the rank and file, ordinary people, know this and dislike the weak leadership, lacking in vision.

I think that there are really but two options. Firstly either continue a gradual downward drift, which could end in a complete loss of our freedoms, more horrors like the current child grooming and sex outrages plus persecution eventually.

Or, secondly compromise some of our "nice" liberal principles, which are in fact plain unrealistic and irresponsible and have created this mess, taking instead an entirely fresh direction, steering a careful course between where we would like to be, and where we need to be, to preserve some if not all of our freedoms. We need visionary, firm but not too heavy leadership, which is a tricky thing to balance, except in times of war.

At the moment we are at a phase when there is a growing awareness that there is a problem, that the political elites are utterly clueless and have let us down and that this needs rectifying. That phase needs to take hold before it moves onto the next one. I suspect that the name of the next phase is labelled "The General Election".

27 August 2014 09:11  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

My position is unchanged. Christianity is a guilt culture. In a wholly Christian society, that’s of little importance but when Christianity is forced to coexist with a blame culture like Islam, Christianity is at a permanent disadvantage.

I certainly think Christianity is at a disadvantage in our present culture, but for you to think it is something in Christianity is quite false and entirely falsifiable. Historically, and in majority Christian countries to this day, Christians are able to live with Muslims without being at a disadvantage. Why are we disadvantaged here? What's different? Secularism. I've argued that case in several places. I cannot see that you have given reason against it.

listen to the guy. You might learn something. Or doesn’t he speak for you?

He is describing the situation in which Muslims are in a majority. I do not say that that is comfortable. Moreover, my argument here is not that Islam can't be a problem. My argument is that we shouldn't be suppressing or in anyway affecting the just rights of innocent Muslims and while Muslims remain the minority that they currently are, we should not ascribe to them problems we do not have.

Remember also my argument that the very reason we are perceived to be in this position is because of secularism. Secularism proclaims the blind contraceptive culture which makes people fear the growth in the proportion of the population who are Muslims. Secularism undermines our shared culture making it possible that local authorities turn a blind eye to a range of abuses by immigrants. It was secularist ideology too that made the invasion of Iraq, which is the cause of so many problems, seem justifiable.

If you think there are problems with Muslims, ask yourself "On whose watch is this being allowed to happen?" and you will find the answer isn't Christians, but secularists.

27 August 2014 09:26  
Blogger Albert said...

Happy Jack,

Do not underestimate the scholarship of Arabia. It is widely held (Jack has not extensively researched this) that Greek philosophy and Aristotle's works came to both Maimonides and Aquinas via Arabic translations.

Do not overestimate it either. I gather that the translations were actually made for the Muslims by Christian scholars, in the early period of Islam.

Nice subtle use of the avatar!

27 August 2014 09:29  
Blogger Albert said...

Well done Marie on the avatar. I can't take credit for the idea though. It ultimately comes from Aid to the Church in Need:

http://www.acnuk.org/pages/mosul-crisis-show-your-solidarity

27 August 2014 09:31  
Blogger Preacher said...

Search for all the answers in any direction you choose. But until it's realised that the battle is in the spiritual realms & that Christians must fight them there, Ephesians 6,verses 10-20, Islam will continue to grow & be a threat. In the spiritual places, those beings that oppose Christ, are fearful of His return because they know that it will mean the end of their war & herald the judgement that has been waiting since their rebellion & forced exit from heaven.
If there is one indication of who is behind false religion, it's the pride shown by all it's followers, (the sin that caused Satan to fall).
Christ is humble but all powerful as shown in Matthew 26 verses 52-54. Is it any wonder that His enemies tremble as their time draws near?.
The book of Revelation tells the Churches of the end times to be ready & warns that Satan will grow more furious as his time draws near.
When will Christ return? I don't know, but as the signs increase, we should train ourselves for war in the spiritual realms.

27 August 2014 10:04  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ DanJ0 (18:16)—I’d argue that the freedom, the stability, etc, are the result of a thousand years of national evolution heavily influenced by Christianity, and I’d be wary about abandoning a faith that, on the whole, has done very well for us. A people need a set of guiding principles to live by and Christianity’s are hard to beat. I have no Christian axe to grind; my days as a believing Christian are behind me and show no sign of returning. Christian belief is emphatically not a bulwark against Islam, as the extinct Christian communities of Arabia, North Africa and the Middle East bear witness. If we have to turn to secularism to defend our Christian values against Islam, that’s fine with me—in its present state, Christianity is unable or unwilling to mount any defence against Islam.

27 August 2014 10:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

in its present state, Christianity is unable or unwilling to mount any defence against Islam.

Having done exactly that for over 1000 years, given that it continues to do so in non-secularised Christian countries, why do you think Christianity is unable or unwilling to mount a defence? What's different here and now? Be careful that your solution isn't part of the problem.

27 August 2014 10:50  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Albert, I think Johnny R is making an important point. "In its present state" of the wishy-washy lukewarm religion preached by clergy of most, if not all, denominations. The church's earlier state was a good deal more robust.

27 August 2014 11:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Uncle Brian,

I am not denying that. I am asking for the cause or source of the problem. I think the Explorer identified it accurately yesterday @11.19. Given Johnny's solution to the problem, I think he needs more of a case to defend his position.

Secondly, avoiding being wishy-washy does not mean that we give in to unjust and foolish claims to treat Muslims poorly. Those kinds of moves seem to be just more wish-washiness to me, insofar as they speak of a lack of confidence in Christian teaching. The solution to the evils of our age will not be found in more evil. Surely Iraq teaches us that!

27 August 2014 11:29  
Blogger DannyEastVillage said...

i don't see much difference between the arrogant certitude of "fundamentalist" Muslims and the corresponding highly visible ilk among Christians. And both do violence to the ineffable beauty of their respective faiths.

27 August 2014 11:36  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Danny:


I appreciate that something ineffable can't really be expressed.

But since both religions rely on the written word, I query your description.

Please could you outline what you see as the primary beauties of each religion?

Three examples from each would be fine for us to get the sense of your priorities.

27 August 2014 11:52  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Albert, Regrettably, Archbishop Bernardini's warning seems to have gone unheeded at the time. Even the Osservatore Romano didn't exactly splash it across the front page, judging by the look of the clipping in His Grace's post. I had never heard of it, or of him, until now. "We have nothing to learn from you" sums it up. What has "interfaith dialogue" achieved, at least on the Muslim front? Has it ever been anything more than an immense waste of time and money?

27 August 2014 11:56  
Blogger Albert said...

I was wondering what Danny means by "fundamentalist" Muslim and "fundamentalist" Christian.

27 August 2014 11:56  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0 @ 06:30

I was about to say that there is no concept of the Chrstian dhimmi, but then I thought of the rstrictions once placed on Catholics and Nonconformists. (Lenient stuff, mind you, compared with the conditions in the Pact of Omar). I'm thinking about the topic: at the moment, no answer.

But do you remember when John reid was Home Secretary? He was told by some Muslim extremist that the ground where he was standing had been claimed for Allah, and he had no business there. Reid conteneded to the effect that Britain was Britain.

That, I think, is the right sort of answer. Ditto Sweden's banning of female genital mutilation, even if it does clash with religious convictions.

27 August 2014 12:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DannyEastVillage wrote:

I don't see much difference between the arrogant certitude of "fundamentalist" Muslims and the corresponding highly visible ilk among Christians.

One notes with irony the expressed certainty about the impossibility of certainty. This btw is the unified field theory of fundamentalism: "One who asserts the existence of a knowable divine truth to which all men everywhere are accountable."

both do violence to the ineffable beauty of their respective faiths.

Which evidently has nothing to do with what it teaches since that would require knowledge of truth, and only fundamentalists claim knowledge of truth. What we have here is religion as aesthetics. It's a subjective celebration of man himself dressed in religious clothes.

carl

27 August 2014 12:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

It should said clearly. The accusation of 'arrogant certainty' does not proceed from humility. It seeks rather to erase the bill of indictment by claiming that there is no knowable law to which man is accountable. It makes sincerity the measure of religion. For how can a man be measured against truth if truth is not revealed to him? The obvious implication is that "God has not spoken" and that there is no answer to the question "What does God require of us?". There remains only man's aesthetic quest for beauty and purpose - sourced entirely in himself.

With ritual and pageantry and symbol of course.

carl

27 August 2014 12:58  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

What I was arguing was that a religion can be allowed freedom only insofar as it obeys the law of the land. )A religion that beleivews it must replace the law of the land is obviously problematic).

The big question is what value system the law of the land is based on. Corrie Ten Boom was faced with that when the law told her to report Jews, and she chose to hide them instead. When caught, she herself was sent to a concentration camp.

27 August 2014 13:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

Well put. Scepticism requires some kind of certainty, for in order to doubt something, there must be some reason to doubt it. That reason must be weighed as sufficiently certain to as to demand doubt of the things against which it is addressed.

27 August 2014 13:14  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

If you want some 'arrogant certitude' look no further that the teacherss and practitioners of the current liberal left secularist thinking that has become culturally dominant over the last 70 years or do.

As Oxford atheist Peter Atkins screamed at a Christian on BBC once who accusef him or arrogance 'Its OK to be arrogant when you're right!'

27 August 2014 13:32  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

PS I don't agree with Atkins, just saying.

27 August 2014 13:33  
Blogger John Thompson-Vear said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2014 13:52  
Blogger John Thompson-Vear said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2014 13:54  
Blogger Albert said...

John Thompson-Vear,

Or, as Rambling Steve's example shows, the same problem can occur with atheists. It's a human thing, rather than a religious thing.

27 August 2014 13:57  
Blogger Albert said...

There's a kind of irony on this page. Some non-Christians are saying Christians are too wishy-washy, some are saying they are too certain. 'Twas ever thus, I suppose. Marx thought Christianity was a way of the strong suppressing the weak. Nietzsche thought Christianity was a way of the weak suppressing the strong.

I suspect therefore, that the reality is people make these points because they fit their wider agendas.

27 August 2014 13:58  
Blogger Shadrach said...

John Thompson Vear,
Is that a dog collar I see hiding at the edge of your photo? You certainly speak as a reverend.

Jesus hated Religion and so do I. The more that Christians consider themselves as religionists, the more they will have to maintain a dialogue in a conciliatory manner, giving and taking in a secularist way.

Christians that are Born of the Spirit will recognise that spirit in others and their is accord.

They will also know when to shake the dust off their feet and not throw their pearls before swine.


27 August 2014 14:05  
Blogger David Hussell said...

One very good thing is happening right now, and these pages are witness to it.

It would have been unthinkable to have openly debated, as is now being done all over, the nature of Islam before the recent atrocities of Iraq and the shocking revelations of Rotherham. Many have know about this for years, if not decades of course, but these events have forced it out into the open, and all but the most blind PC are not calling for silence, so that is quite a change.

However the nations of the west need to get from debate to action, and soon, but not so quickly as to get it wrong.

27 August 2014 14:17  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Explorer said,

a religion can be allowed freedom only insofar as it obeys the law of the land.

You are right and that is why we must work towards a Government that does not discriminate and legislate against Christians. Pay unto Cesar that which is Cesar's. But a sacrifice is required when we are asked to do or not do things that are anti-Christian.

If street preaching is banned for example, is it wise or not to obey? Paul and his followers were wise as to when and where they preached by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It's like people of the cloth. If you are not called but just volunteered, you are wasting your time. There will be no blessing in your ministry. It is essential in all things to be in His Will.

27 August 2014 14:17  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2014 14:25  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Albert (09:26)—in majority Christian countries to this day, Christians are able to live with Muslims without being at a disadvantage. Why are we disadvantaged here? What’s different? Secularism

Secularism, as I understand it, is the separation of Church and State, and I imagine all majority Christian countries follow that principle; hence my earlier comment that England had long been a secular Christian country. I maintain, then, that Britain is disadvantaged not by secularism but by the restrictions necessary to maintain multiculturalism: national debate being conducted within the boundaries imposed by political correctness and thought crime legislation, and, especially clear in the wake of Rotherham, the disadvantage suffered by the (nominally) Christian community as a result of the authorities’ overwhelming need to escape charges of racism: far better to let white kids suffer than point the finger at Muslims.

innocent Muslims
At what level of knowledge of Islam’s repellent teachings does Muslim innocence wither? Aside from the mentally incapable, are there any adult Muslims who can claim ignorance of Islam’s violent intentions?

It was secularist ideology too that made the invasion of Iraq seem justifiable
Did not the Spanish Armada set sail on a fair wind of Christian ideology?

27 August 2014 14:28  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Albert's comment.
Christians are able to live with Muslims without being at a disadvantage.

Nominal Muslims are able to get on with nominal Christians. That's why there is no conflict in those situations.

As soon as Muslims follow the Quran in it's fuller Islamic teachings, that's when conflict comes. Christians are generally tolerant of other religious groups providing they are not expansionist in a violent way.

27 August 2014 15:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Shadrach

"Jesus hated Religion and so do I."

Did He? You'll need to define the term and what you mean by it.

Jesus was a devout Jew and followed the Torah and essence of Judaism, showing us its true meaning. By my reading, what He hated was external observance of religious ritual without grasping their meaning and without a relationship with His Father and others. He also hated the abuse of the Pharisees religious system and the exploitation of the poor by the Temple authorities.

"Christians that are Born of the Spirit will recognise that spirit in others and their is accord."

Are you aware of the troubled history of Christianity and all the current divides?

JR

Christians do not carry guilt. What makes you think this? The actions of politicians? Talk of Roman Catholic guilt, which one hears a lot about, is a misnomer too. We review our actions, accept our errors and sins, repent, ask forgiveness, learn from them and move and do on what needs to be done.

27 August 2014 15:19  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Uncle Brian (11:24)—Since the dawn of multiculturalism, British Christianity has had to be far more guarded lest it tread on ethnically sensitive toes, particularly of the Muslim variety. Christianity has made a noble sacrifice on behalf of multiculturalism but is paying a high price for it. When it had the stage to itself, Christianity had no need for restraint, as you say.

27 August 2014 15:25  
Blogger DannyEastVillage said...

The only reason nations of the so-called Christian West do not resort to such tactics as those seen in the savage societies of the Islamic World is that, mercifully, the West embraced the idea of the modern state. But it didn't come easily: enough people had to become disgusted by the bloodshed of the European religious wars to make them realize that religious leaders with armies were not doing anything for anyone's good except the religious institutions and the political figures allied with them. Then we realized that people with differing religious views not only could but wanted to live together in peace. So the weapons of war were wrested out of religious leaders' hands once and for all. Unfortunately, Islamic leaders have not uniformly embraced modern ideas about the nature of the state. (looking at the Tea Party in the US, some American Christians haven't either). But prior to our walking away from religion-based bloodshed in the 18th Century, our history was very bit as ugly as what we're seeing in Syria, Iraq and other places.

27 August 2014 15:58  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Jack,
And there was I thinking you had a Damascene experience since your earlier life form.

The answer is Yes. That is exactly what I meant.

Who can not be aware of the strife between Christian denominations. The strife wrought by Catholics over the years is embedded in my mind. And yet, their is an affinity between believer who share the prescience of the Holy Spirit.

27 August 2014 15:58  
Blogger Anglican said...

Regarding attempts to dialogue with Islam, it's worth reading
http://seanrobsville.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/civilization-is-west-history-science-by.html

27 August 2014 16:05  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Johnny R @ 14:28

Secularism

When the term was originally borrowed from the Latin, it meant someoone not professionally involved with the Church. In that sense, I am secular; although I am a believer.

In the Nineteenth Century, however, secularism came also to mean a non-theistic view of the Universe; and, of course, our view of the origin of the Universe determines our view of everything else.

In that sense, an unbelieving vicar is secular in a way that I am not.

Secularism as Church/State separation is another meaning again.

27 August 2014 16:11  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Danny @ 15:58

"Walking away from religion-based bloodshed in the 18th Century."

Didn't France walk straight into bloodshed of a particularly vicious kind with the Reign of Terror, in its attempt to walk away from religion?

27 August 2014 16:17  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Johnny Rottenborough at 15:25

When it had the stage to itself, Christianity had no need for restraint, as you say.

Going back a step further, how was it that Christianity came to have the stage to itself in the first place? Certain instances of “interfaith dialogue” spring to mind, such as that memorable meeting at Poitiers where Charles Martel was the head of the Frankish delegation and the other side were unable to refute his arguments.

27 August 2014 16:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer

"Didn't France walk straight into bloodshed of a particularly vicious kind with the Reign of Terror, in its attempt to walk away from religion?"

To say nothing of the *inspiration* it gave Marx and the countless millions who died under Communism in Russia and China. Would Hitler have come to power but for the fear Communism in the East?

27 August 2014 17:37  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack

Just noticed your new Albert-inspired avatar! Did you ever see a Marlon Brando film called One-Eyed Jacks?

Regards
Brian

27 August 2014 17:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

A modern state must be ideologically coherent. That is what all this talk of shared vales with its tacit assumption of the kind of Muslim really reveals. Religion is supposed to be incidental to moral foundation in the modern secular world. Of course, it isn't and that is why the secular world has such trouble with it. Secularism wants to create a shared moral order without reference to religion in order to form the ideologically coherence necessary for a stable state. Upon what does think it can base this coherence? It hasn't a clue. But it knows it can't be religion. Because religion leads to killing for no good reason.

To the secular mind, the wars over religion weren't bad because people were killed. They were bad because people were killed over something trivial. The French Revolution may have dissolved into Terror in its quest to establish a new ideological coherence, but at least it guillotined people over something substantial - or so the secularist understands it. There is killing, you see, and then there is killing. There is the triviality of God, and then there is the substance of the class struggle.

We all know which of those is important.

carl

27 August 2014 17:50  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Uncle Brian

Happy Jack has seen the film.

27 August 2014 18:13  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Happy Jack (15:19)—I think ‘review our actions, accept our errors and sins’ is the key to it. In A God Who Hates, the former Muslim Wafa Sultan writes:

‘As far as [Muslims] are concerned, whatever happens is God’s will and their faith does not either require them to regret their actions or consider [themselves] responsible for any consequences that might ensue. The Muslim male is the product of a culture that does not know how to take responsibility and which does not hold him accountable for his failures.’

In their attitude to personal responsibility, Christianity and Islam could not be further apart. I accept that the terms ‘guilt’ and ‘blame’ may well not be ideal descriptions.

@ The Explorer (16:11)—Thank you. It’s the Church/State meaning I had in mind. Theoretically, I suppose England is not secular, what with the Queen multi-tasking as Supreme Governor and bishops in the House of Lords. In practice, though, the way we are governed seems more secular than sacred.

27 August 2014 18:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "But do you remember when John reid was Home Secretary? He was told by some Muslim extremist that the ground where he was standing had been claimed for Allah, and he had no business there. Reid conteneded to the effect that Britain was Britain."

and

"What I was arguing was that a religion can be allowed freedom only insofar as it obeys the law of the land."

Well, quite. In effect, one may hold religious beliefs and manifest them, with qualifications, but one does not have the power to force those beliefs on others other than by legal means. As it should be, really.

27 August 2014 18:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Johnny: " A people need a set of guiding principles to live by and Christianity’s are hard to beat."

Well, except that they ultimately rely on a set of religious beliefs whose truth is contested and which is not held by the majority of the population. If we're to have guiding principles then so be it but they don't need to be derived from a minority religion, just recognised by the majority and accepted as tending to the common good (whatever that is).

"If we have to turn to secularism to defend our Christian values against Islam, that’s fine with me—in its present state, Christianity is unable or unwilling to mount any defence against Islam."

Christianity doesn't have the power or the backing of the majority to do so. As I said before, we need to be collectively recognising and articulating our values and aspirations, and working out what we need to do to protect them without undermining them in the process.

There has been lots written about voluntary repatriation of immigrants, with hints of a plan B of having the cattle trucks handy. We've seen demands to assert the ascendency of one religion over another using the power of the State. There have even been oblique and slightly absurd calls for people to out breed our Muslim population so we retain the democratic power.

What I haven't seen is anything substantive within our current value system to deal with what is widely seen here as a problem: the threat of Islamism developing out of a freedom of religious belief in Islam. Just some whingey finger-pointing at the past, really.

27 August 2014 18:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

David H: "It would have been unthinkable to have openly debated, as is now being done all over, the nature of Islam before the recent atrocities of Iraq and the shocking revelations of Rotherham. Many have know about this for years, if not decades of course, but these events have forced it out into the open, and all but the most blind PC are not calling for silence, so that is quite a change."

Yes. If anything good has come out of this so-called Islamic State thing, it's that Islamism is becoming recognised a cultural threat of a similar order to Cold War era communism.

27 August 2014 19:04  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack at 18:13

Okay, Jack, I see your point. Both of them, in fact. You can take your glasses off now!

27 August 2014 19:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Uncle Brian

Happy to oblige. Jack did look a tad oriental with those eyes! Best take the 'specs' off or he'll have JR and his crew after him.

27 August 2014 19:50  
Blogger The Explorer said...

As Johnny R pointed out @ 10:41, Islam overwhelmed Christianity in Arabia, North Africa and the Middle East. Where Islam can, it will.

Christianity survived in Europe because Europe was strong enough to expel Islam (Spain), or prevent its entry: France, Malta, Vienna. Europes's ancestors would have seen recent immigration policies as an invitation to conquest.

I suppose the closest equivalent to the current situation was British Marxists fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and returning to undermine exisitng British society. But the scale of the current problem is much greater.

Islam as an external threat has a long lineage; Islam as an internal threat hasn't. That is partly why there has been no coherent strategy.

Still, an awareness that there might BE a threat does appear to be gaining ground. That, I suppose, is a necessary prelude to finding a solution.

27 August 2014 20:04  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

What seems clear is that liberal relativism and its plethora of man made, artificially constructed, 'human rights' is insufficient to weld a nation together or to make it function.

In Jack's view, the cultural turmoil we face is the result of 60 years of tolerance morphing into positive license and the West replacing virtue with desire. Islam is merely moving into a vacuum. Even moderate and the more secularly inclined Muslims must look at our society and see moral degeneracy. Really, radical Islamists just have to bide their time.

27 August 2014 20:14  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

I've just been reading on other websites about the Rotherham business, which I hadn't heard of till now. Sadly, large-scale sexual abuse of young girls is not in itself a surprising disclosure. What strikes me as something I don't remember hearing about in earlier cases is the extent of the cover-up and the fact that a large number of officials, some of them in quite senior positions, deliberately turned a blind eye -- in other words, they chose not to do the jobs they were being paid to do -- because they were afraid of being called islamophobes or racists. Is this really the case? Or have I been reading a slanted version of the facts?

27 August 2014 20:38  
Blogger The Explorer said...

HJ @ 20:14

An alternative is cutural turmoil morphing into tribalist survivalism.

The other factor is God. I have often wondered where Islam fitted into the divine plan, and why it was permitted to happen in the first place. As you have pointed out on other threads, God punished Israel for disobedience (or Israel punished itself.) That may be Islam's function in relation to Europe: now it has advanced beyond its historic role of keeping Europe on its toes.

27 August 2014 20:43  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Must watch BBC 2 @ 10 pm “Some Vicars with Jokes” The latest way to attract bums on seats in Church. I'm not sure this is good or cringe-worthy.

No Danj0, the vast majority of people now are too tied up worrying about conforming to diversity and braking their necks to try and comply to equality legislation in order not to be taken to court. The Marxist agenda to atomise Christianity is well on its way and you atheists have been instrumental in furthering their cause.

Our language has been sanitised to comply with this and we are told it's not to 'offend' all the minorities here, all the little references to Christianity, Jesus and the little sayings and verses from the Bible that were in TV programs, films, dramas, documents, novels, children's stories etc., all gone, so I'd reverse this. Political correctness needs to be reversed as do the E&D laws and replaced with common sense.
Yes morning prayers for 10 mins at work and in schools. Saying grace before meals in public places as well as home is good as it teaches people appreciation and humility.

Banning of the burkha face covering.

27 August 2014 21:09  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

David Hussell @ 09:11

“Or, secondly compromise some of our "nice" liberal principles, which are in fact plain unrealistic and irresponsible and have created this mess, taking instead an entirely fresh direction, steering a careful course between where we would like to be, and where we need to be, to preserve some if not all of our freedoms. We need visionary, firm but not too heavy leadership, which is a tricky thing to balance, except in times of war. “

This would be the preferred option you suggest, but worth it in the end. Immigrants will simply have to comply to our ways or go home. If some can do it then all can.


27 August 2014 21:10  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, once again your post is an important step in developing arguments for confronting Islam. Your leadership in this debate is important because there seems no coherent policy development at an official level. Of course, this cannot be because to do so would admit the failure of multi-culti and be an implicit recognition of a hierarchy of moral values in which Christianity emerges supreme. Can't discriminate like that, can we?

Communicants who talk in abstract terms about Christianity having the strength to deal with Islam, presumably through a timely and well targeted action by the Holy Spirit, may be forgetting the sobering advice of the Archbishop of Mosul.

He said, 'You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles'.

The alternative is societal oblivion, as the Christians of Mosul have endured. These Christians were fortunate in finding refuge with 'good' Muslims in Kurdistan. But what if there is no refuge? Where is the final redoubt? So many of the failed states of Dar al Islam, which seems to be 99% of them, have completely expelled their non-Muslim populations. In Europe, we have seen it happen in Kosovo, but we failed to draw the right conclusions. Where next?

The only option seems to be a Christian state, unashamed of its beliefs and strong enough in a temporal sense to withstand the unholy warriors of Islam as they continue their plunder. They never produce, except for an abundance of offspring, raised to take what they cannot create. For it is written.

27 August 2014 21:46  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ The Explorer (20:04)—Kevin MacDonald, writing in Separation and Its Discontents, argues that the media in the US have eroded ‘traditional Western cultural supports’, among which he includes ‘religious institutions and beliefs’, meaning, of course, Christianity. It strikes me that Europe has suffered a triple whammy of erosion by media, multiculturalism and Islam.

@ Uncle Brian (20:38)—The reports you have read are correct. Whites in Britain are so terrified of being accused of racism that the council, social workers and police all looked the other way.

27 August 2014 21:57  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Thanks, Johnny. So things have really got that bad.

27 August 2014 22:11  
Blogger David Hussell said...

bluedog @ 21.46

The concept of an unashamedly "Christian state" is an attractive one. To live there would be quite a pleasure and relief. It would have to be ecumenical, I suggest, as what binds us far exceeds the differences, without trivialising the theological richness of all traditions. It must encompass all the truly Trinitarian traditions anyway.

I would like to see that territorial idea developed towards its practical implementation, as a final insurance policy, as it were. But in the meanwhile there is serious work to be done here and soon too, reclaiming ground, it seems to me. Things must change. Even the most secular, non-practising "Christians" for generations, must surely see that now. In fact all but the most lost in PC dreaming must see that, surely ? The vital thing is to translate what is happening now, revelation, shock and debate into political, practical, thought through and resourced effective action. Border control and only allowing in those that will respect our culture must be high on the shopping list of changes. Things really must change.

27 August 2014 22:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer

God alone knows what happens next. A return any time soon to a society firmly based on orthodox Christianity seems unlikely.

Imagine *going back* to an era of few divorces, no abortions, sex before marriage a taboo, illegitimate children a rarity, and heterosexuality embraced as the only legitimate expression of physical love. Where the idols of new homes, fast cars, holidays abroad and money are abandoned and there is a return to what really counts - living for your children's tomorrow and not one's today.

It's not going to happen without a miracle. We'll either sink slowly into financial ruin and further social anarchy and simply be *assimilated* by Islam, or suffer some form of totalitarianism - religious, fascist or a combination of both.

"I have often wondered where Islam fitted into the divine plan, and why it was permitted to happen in the first place.2

It's really only round two with Islam. There are other foes, of course, but this looks one strong at present. One sometimes wonders if it genuinely is so and if the real enemy is something else.

An old expression Jack grew up with: "These things are sent to try us." From what Jack knows of Muhammad, Islam does seem to be based on the ravings of a man possessed or mad.

"As you have pointed out on other threads, God punished Israel for disobedience (or Israel punished itself.)"

Interesting. Societal and individual sin does have tangible consequences and God let's things run their predetermined course. Evil appears to triumph for a time but such are the 'laws' of God's creation that Good prevails. Sometimes, as in the crucifixion, it means harsh punishment and defeat before new life comes forth. The head of the serpent is crushed - by the word of God.

"That may be Islam's function in relation to Europe: now it has advanced beyond its historic role of keeping Europe on its toes."

Maybe Islam fulfilled a function in solidifying the Church and nation states into a force to physically defeat Islam. It was a time when this was needed. Then, that very process resulted in other problems. Such is the cycle of human history.

From a historical perspective this isn't the greatest threat posed to Christianity. Yet, such is our weakness, it could prove to be the last (until the next one!). As you know, Jack isn't into all this "end time* stuff. It makes no difference. We do what is right and moral and leave the rest to God.

27 August 2014 22:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

bluedog and David Hussell

You cannot found a Christian state on opposition to Islam - alone. Christianity is not a political ideology - its a way of life. One the West appears not to want. Even the various churches are turning from millennia of orthodoxy.

27 August 2014 22:34  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Uncle Brian@20:38

Yes, it really is the case. You have not been misled but you must understand that it's culturally insensitive to intervene and prevent religiously sanctioned depravity.

This has become Rapeistan. Home of the Jihadiphiles. They became victorious through terror. When the forces of Liberal Democracy saw their racial and religious credentials they collapsed prostrate and powerless before them.

Preservation of Political Correctness, Common Purpose and Community Relations dogma transcends child sexual abuse. Even when it's widespread and on a epic scale. Just as long as its organised by gangs of a certain racial “heritage” and unassailable religion. It's an accident of history that the victims are “infidels” whose racial and religious ancestry places them among “the worst of creatures” with status “lower than cattle.” No one is to blame. So no one can be held to account. Lessons will be learned. But nothing will be done.

27 August 2014 22:36  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Thank you, Jay Bee. I’m beginning to realise how old-fashioned we are here in Brazil. When a child prostitution ring is uncovered, as happens from time to time, it often emerges that the cover-up was successful for a long time because the people involved were local bigwigs – the mayor, a judge, a parish priest, a factory owner, whatever – who were able to exert their influence in the traditional way. But in the Rotherham case there seems to have been something nastier than that at work. All those officials who consented to look the other way, were they getting a pay¬off, either in cash or in kind? If not, what was the inducement? Or were they so gutless that they didn’t need any inducement at all?

27 August 2014 23:27  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Uncle Brian@23:27

Too early to be sure but the inducement to keep quiet may simply be avoiding disciplinary action and keeping ones job. It is not uncommon for management to forcefully block attempts to get matters out in the open when political and professional reputations are at stake.

28 August 2014 00:26  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Uncle Brian (23:27)—To make clear, the abuse of children by, as the BBC has taken to calling them ‘people of Pakistani heritage’, is widespread in England. By no means is it confined to Rotherham. Only in the last four years or so have perpetrators been arrested and charged; before that, there was denial and coverup by government and media. A Labour MP, Ann Cryer, drew attention to the scandal, to the fury of her party. The only other politician to speak out was Nick Griffin of the BNP but he went unreported by the MSM until he was secretly filmed by the BBC in the mid-2000s talking about Muslim criminality. The government tried to imprison him but he was cleared by two juries.

28 August 2014 00:52  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Johnny R and Jay Bee, thank you both. This has been something of an eye-opener for me. I must pay more attention in future to news of this kind from the UK, I can see haven’t been keeping up with the latest trends.

Thanks again to you both.

Regards,
Brian

28 August 2014 01:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie :"Yes morning prayers for 10 mins at work and in schools. Saying grace before meals in public places as well as home is good as it teaches people appreciation and humility."

You might find that people react quite badly to that and decide that we'll have no religion in public at all instead. We might throw babies out with the bath water but people might decide that's worth it rather than the majority losing their own freedom. Once one starts getting draconian, anything becomes possible. It'll be the tyranny of the majority.

28 August 2014 02:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie :"Banning of the burkha face covering."

As you know, France has done that recently and France has a secular history in the much stronger sense of the word than the normal separation of religion and State one. I think we risk going down that route if we're not careful.

28 August 2014 02:56  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Explorer yesterday @20.43

I think that is it. Perhaps God has allowed Satan to raise up Islam to scourge an apostate church and showcase the unique goodness of the true religion of our blessed Saviour the Lord Jesus. But people don't see it.

The hypothesis that God is sick of the west's corruptions and has blinded our leaders so that they welcome in the Islamic snake has much explanatory power.

Statements by Yvette Cooper and Geoffrey Robinson in the last week indicate that our rulers are not even getting a wake up call from the clear and present danger of 500 plus possibly returning UK jihadis. The IS leaders are getting these young men to kill prisoners, one each, so they are cemented to the cause and 'get the feel' of murder. Robinson, a very senior lawyer, is concerned about the human rights of these psychopaths when they return to Britain. This would make a hilarious 'Long Johns' comedy sketch if it wasn't so absolutely awful. Its as if our society has lost the will to live.

I have nothing else to say and will shut up to reflect and pray for a few weeks.

28 August 2014 07:01  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian:

With this Rotheram thing, I am reminded of the old Welsh story of Gelert the hound.

The Lord returns from hunting to find the baby's cot overturned, and the dog with blood on its jaws.

He kills the dog, and then finds the dead wolf against which the dog had been protecting the child.

In the same way in Britain, PC authorities punish those who would protect.

28 August 2014 08:21  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Rambling Steve @ 07:01

Re Yvette Cooper and Geoffrey Robinson.

The modern world rather dislkes the idea of divine judgement. It goes against the notion of equality for people to end up in different destinations. (Egalitarians dislike school examinations for exactly the same reason.)

Human rights lawyers though, I suspect, secretly hope for divine judgement to be a reality.

If God's judgement is questionable now (which is why we tend to ignore it), just imagine the fees you could rack up defending the human rights of sinners.

And with eternity to play with... well, you could table even more appeals than in the case of Abu Qutada

28 August 2014 09:05  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Happy Jack @ 22.34

Are you jumping to conclusions ?
Stating that Christianity is not a political ideology is not worth saying, as that is obvious.
However one can have a state where it is understood that the laws are based on the general precepts of Christianity. That is roughly where we were as a country. And I don't believe I was advocating a Christian state being founded on opposition to anything, was I ? You are reading into the few things I said.
Your statement that Christianity - "its a way of life" is questionable, since firstly it is a faith. Faith comes first, with the way of life following on from that, as the product of the faith.
History is full of countries that saw themselves as essentially Christian, arguably starting with Constantine. Today Russia as a state allies itself with Orthodoxy.
I am saying that the idea of a Christian state is one worth considering.

28 August 2014 09:15  
Blogger IanCad said...

Marie 1797 @ 21:09.

The awful spectre of compulsion is stirring.

We are perfectly free to pray before work or school.

Never been restrained from quietly saying grace in a public place either.

As to banning the burka:

True, it veils the face, making its wearer unrecognizable.

The same applies to my wife when she wakes up in the morning. An hour or so at the dressing table with her "Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux" and she too is changed from a sulking, surly dame into an attractive and approachable example of God's improvement on man.

Ban the burka. Ban make-up, wigs, cosmetic surgery ---.

28 August 2014 09:20  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The comments by Rambling Steve and The Explorer above contain useful thoughts.

I have been tempted for some time to see our society as one that is has been so brainwashed that it has given up the will to exist.
The story of Gelert the Dog does have parallels I agree, in a poetic sort of way.
However as a Christian I believe that the despair is something that we have a duty to push against and I will not be overwhelmed by it. The public are not stupid. So despite the nonsense being spouted by Cameron and the other PC politicos, many sound thinking ordinary people are seeing through the lies and the smoke screens and will vote accordingly come the GE, at least I certainly hope so. One must work for an erosion if not a revolution regarding the power of the blind liberal establishment that has failed the people. That is what I think.

28 August 2014 09:23  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H:

In the Gelert story, the Lord bitterly repents his folly.

We may hope for a similar outcome in due course from the advocates of PC.

28 August 2014 09:37  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Explorer

"Islam as an external threat has a long lineage; Islam as an internal threat hasn't. That is partly why there has been no coherent strategy." Most beautifully concise/succinct/crisp.

Ernst doffs his cap, lad.

Old Ernst says again that the view of secularism in UK was helped to be put in place by christians (This did not have to be a bad thing but has turned sour...Who wanted protestants hanged by the order of Popes or Catholics hanged by Calvin etc)as we did not want a situation of one of our own accusing others that he blasphemed, 'string him up', solely because the accuser was a christian and the poor other NOT.

I find it hard to imagine those Christians, believing that their generosity in ensuring a fair justice system so that people could not be falsely accused on a bigoted whim or personal vendetta, could be so easily misappropriated by the misdirection of our atheist friends to something completely alien to the original intention of equal footing for all. It was NEVER intended for Christianity to be removed from the nation's conscience as the Prime force our laws and heritage were/are based upon and would continue to be so! This has been contrived by duplicity and having the judicial term of 'wolves in sheep's clothing',infiltrating our law courts.

All men are indeed equal before God for Christianity but not all gods are equal before God.

Blowers

28 August 2014 11:59  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ The Explorer (20:43)—I have often wondered where Islam fitted into the divine plan

Not being religious, I tend to see Islam as part of a human plan to destabilize the West. Having spent the last thread expounding my arguments/conspiracy theories (delete as appropriate) and listing the possible culprits, I’ll not repeat it all here. Suffice to say that, for God to punish European Christians by arranging for one of His heartlands to fall to Islam seems an odd way of going about things. I can accept the idea of evil people working to destroy Europe but not the idea of an evil God.

28 August 2014 12:10  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

The Explorer at 08:21

Yes, the Gelert the dog story is an apt analogy, but let’s hope that in this case the truth has come to light in time to save Gelert’s life. (I remember the story but I’m sure I would never have been able to recall the dog’s name, so thank you for that.)

Another dog analogy might be Sherlock Holmes’ remark about the dog that didn’t bark in the night. In what I have called the old-fashioned approach to child prostitution that we see in the news here in Brazil from time to time, there are usually a handful of officials who knew what was going on but agreed to keep their mouths shut in exchange for a bribe, which might have meant the prospect of being able to afford a new car this year rather than next year, and/or an evening’s entertainment in the company of one or more of the young ladies. But they knew what they were doing. They were putting their private interest ahead of the public interest. Nobody ever doubted that, neither the bigwigs who were handing out largesse, nor the civil servants themselves who were having a bit of fun. Once the party came to an end and it was suddenly payback time, neither lot defended their actions on any grounds other than they had regrettably given way to the universal human weaknesses of avarice and lust. What strikes me as an innovation in the Rotherham case is the assertion that the officials who consented to look the other way were doing nothing wrong: on the contrary, by enabling other people to go on breaking the law, the Yorkshire officials are making the extraordinary claim that they were in fact acting in the public interest all the time.

I am reminded of a scrap of dialogue from a Samuel Beckett novel: Any fool can turn the blind eye, but it takes an ostrich to bury its head in the sand.

28 August 2014 12:20  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

JR

Suffice to say that, for God to punish European Christians by arranging for one of His heartlands to fall to Islam seems an odd way of going about things.(But Israel was punished by the Almight by the conquest of aliens internal and external however He restored what was taken as He rules the nations at his pleasure to do His bidding...Scripture says Isaiah 66:8, in a day a nation will be born. May 15, 1948 the sovereign State of Israel the Jewish people was made - miraculously reborn as foretold by Bible prophecy for the last days in the same place they had always been.

This cannot be explained away as insignificant, now can it, Johnny lad?)

I can accept the idea of evil people working to destroy Europe but not the idea of an evil God.

(What evil God? The whole concept of the Almighty is His Just character and laws ...lex talionis...We have piece by piece received His stripes in equal measure and so corresponds in degree and kind to the offense of the wrongdoer as a nation but it appears we continually require harder chastisement from His hand for failing to hear and repent?)

People fail to see that the majority of the end of the age prophecies involves Israel and the other nations are peripheral to the unfolding action.

Without this key, one is left not watching or knowing the signs of his return as Jesus told us to do.

We see our nation undermined by our changing of His laws and our inviting of enemies within, under the delusion this is somehow christian charity displayed rather than building a pyre for ourselves through vain glorious stupidity. Can Islam live lovingly with others in a liberal democracy once it gains supremacy ...this is all unchartered territory and the existing evidence don't look good..is it a risk worth taking for our children and grandchildren and their peace and safety??

Once the shout of Allahu Akbar is issued across the land, are the silent 'moderates' really going to stand up and say, 'NOT IN OUR NAME'?. Get real UK!!

If you cannot see that the stage is being set for the only kingdom to be expected next, prior to His return, is Antichrist's and the nations must be so weak at that time that a 'Strong Man' of our own is required, as we have lamented here about the craziness that the only thing that keeps the Muslim minorities in check IS a strong man, then you cannot see the signs, dear fella.

If you do not have correct Bible perspective on Israel you will adopt a wrong view of the end times and the nations places therein.

Blowers, Johnny.

28 August 2014 12:51  
Blogger Ivan said...

Guilt-mongering has its price. Here it is paid by the weakest elements. Which is why it is of utmost importance, that those who have no loyalty to their own nation and its people, should never be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. Apart from all excuses, it is obvious that no one in power felt any empathy towards the girls based on them being of the same race. In every other society, that empathy alone would be sufficient to deter predators from another tribe.

28 August 2014 13:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Blowers,

Thank you for the kind words at 11:59.

I agree that the main focus for the End Times would appear to be the Middle East.

The ultimate signiicance of Islam is thus not in relation to Europe, but to Israel.

28 August 2014 14:10  
Blogger The Explorer said...

A sombre point made by the American Jewish commentator Stephen Steinlight is that the growing Islamic presence in Europe may in due course make the position of Europe's Jews untenable.

He suggests that something of the sort (the number of daily attacks in Paris as evidence) may be happening in France already.

28 August 2014 14:39  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi explorer,

Alyiah is certainly something for Jews in Europe, including the UK, to consider seriously, I am thinking about it. I never quite thought i'd see pogroms in france and mobs trashing stores in the UK, because of Jews. Not in liberal minded tolerant europe, 2014.

28 August 2014 14:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer

The significance of Islam has always been about the Promised Land and the Jews. Its been so since the time of Mohammad and manifestly so during the last century. The enmity between Jew and Arab goes far back as Jacob's grasping of Esau's heel during their births. Esau exchanged his birth right for a bowl of stew and took Hitite wives. Jacob conspired with his mother to deceive Isaac.

Jacob, an intelligent, calculating person who shows an ability to deceive, becomes the next in line in the founding of the Jewish people over Esau, a dim witted, impulsive man who doesn't think before acting.

Now wonder Mohammed wanted to rewrite Scripture!

28 August 2014 14:59  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ ESB + T (12:51)—Thank you for your explanation. I’m afraid none of the biblical stuff cuts any ice with me.

We see our nation undermined by our changing of His laws and our inviting of enemies within

The people didn’t change His laws or invite enemies in. Why punish the people for something they haven’t done? I’m sorry but involving God gets more ridiculous by the minute. At some point in the first half of the last century, men, not God, decided to open Europe’s borders to Islam for the specific purpose of undermining Christianity. On an earlier thread, I suggested who may have committed what is arguably the most appalling crime against humanity in history.

I can indeed see that the stage is being set but it is being set by evil men or an evil group of people, not God.

@ Ivan (13:19)—The curse of the white race is that its sense of group identity is weak. No other race would turn against its own as we have seen in Rotherham. It is no accident that Europe was earmarked for race replacement. As whites, uniquely, can be persuaded to turn against themselves, we are easy prey for all minorities not of white European stock. All the more reason to undo multiculturalism before it is the death of us.

28 August 2014 15:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Johnny R @ 15:13

I can take your point about people themselves not being to blame.

Our democracy, after all, is rather limited: we get to choose who will make the decisions on our behalf.

Referenda are held with extreme reluctance: in case voters deliver the wrong verdict. (In which case, the result is held to be invalid.)

I believe Parliament didn't vote on our entry into WWI. Parliament was told that the decision had been made. What price the will of the people?

If I rememeber right, there was such disillusion with politics by the time of New Labour's third term that the turn out was something like 32%. So the country was being run on a decision made by 18% of the population.

So,yes: millions suffer from the decisions of the few, if the few get it wrong.

28 August 2014 15:42  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Ian Cad @ 9:20
NO Ian, gosh you're a bit of a panic merchant aren't you.

It's not tyranny or heading toward tyranny, but a renewing of our cultural values that have been atomised by the cultural Marxists and booed off the stage by aggressive secularism.
Nobody would be forced to do anything they didn't want to.

Danj0 one wont be forced to say prayers at work or in school one can opt out. But it should be what the country does naturally.

I was watching “Hotel India” yesterday evening a behind the scenes documentary about Mumbai's luxury hotel The Taj Mahal Palace. A Beautiful place. At the beginning of the shift most staff say prayers. They all put their hands together and their manager leads the prayer. There are visible signs of their Hindu religion and culture dotted around staff quarters and the hotel is very proud to give foreign guests the full cultural experience, but they all speak beautiful English and the butlers all look like Carstens out of Downton Abbey. It's lovely.

As for the face covering cloth that is the burkha, Ian I'm sure you can still recognise your wife as your wife in the mornings after her make-up goes on, would you recognise her if she wore a full burkha that is the question? You are incorrectly identifying these two face coverings as the same when they clearly are not.

28 August 2014 15:57  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Hi Hannah,

The problem with Europe is that parts of it are ceasing to be 2014.

Parts of it are becoming seventh-century intolerance of a particular variety.

28 August 2014 16:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

Secularism, as I understand it, is the separation of Church and State

The problem is, there is more than one kind of secularism. As Carl pointed out, there is the secularism of the Founding Fathers and the secularism of the French Revolution. The most normal dictionary definition is to go further than your definition and to try to remove religion from the public sphere. This means, of course, removing Christianity, but without replacing it with anything. All that is left is what can be measured - e.g. science. The problem then is that it is impossible to make any kind of moral judgement about anything.

In this context, there is no basis for judging when (say) a Muslim school has crossed the line in Britain, for to say that British culture is superior or more important than Muslim culture is to make a claim that cannot be supported on the secular world-view.

At what level of knowledge of Islam’s repellent teachings does Muslim innocence wither?

Seriously, you want to punish people for their beliefs? The issue surely is only whether Muslims commit a crime.

Did not the Spanish Armada set sail on a fair wind of Christian ideology?

I've never asked whether it could be justified at the bar of Just War Theory! I suppose one would argue Elizabeth I was not the legitimate monarch (owing to the marriage of her parents being unrecognised by either the Catholic Church or the CofE), and was a tyrant. Therefore, a better comparison would be with the Revolution of 1688, in which a group of Protestant traitors invited a foreign invader to depose, by force, the undoubted monarch.

28 August 2014 16:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Johnny,

It strikes me that Europe has suffered a triple whammy of erosion by media, multiculturalism and Islam.

Multiculturalism is a tool in the hand of the secularist. If you make all religions equal, none of them can make a strong claim on society. You stop saying "Happy Christmas" because that is hopelessly Christian and offensive to non-Christians (allegedly) and move to "Happy Holidays" which has excluded all religions.

Identify the problem if you want the solution.

28 August 2014 16:44  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0 27th Aug 18:58
“Christianity doesn't have the power or the backing of the majority to do so. As I said before, we need to be collectively recognising and articulating our values and aspirations, and working out what we need to do to protect them without undermining them in the process.”

Yes but what exactly ARE our values and aspirations?

“There has been lots written about voluntary repatriation of immigrants, with hints of a plan B of having the cattle trucks handy. We've seen demands to assert the ascendency of one religion over another using the power of the State. There have even been oblique and slightly absurd calls for people to out breed our Muslim population so we retain the democratic power.”

“What I haven't seen is anything substantive within our current value system to deal with what is widely seen here as a problem: the threat of Islamism developing out of a freedom of religious belief in Islam. Just some whingey finger-pointing at the past, really.”

What do you call substantive? Come on, what do YOU suggest we do?

28 August 2014 17:14  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie 1797

Come now, its obvious what all true atheists and secularist want.

The equal and fair removal of religion from the public square and its archaic influence on politics and the operation of the state. Keep it under wraps. Pray away all you like, quietly somewhere in private but keep all your religious hostility and nasty judgemental attitudes towards others to yourselves. There's been enough bloodshed in the names of Allah, Yahweh and God.

Simples - but just wrong and inverted.

28 August 2014 18:06  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi explorer,

Sadly that is true.

28 August 2014 18:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "Yes but what exactly ARE our values and aspirations?"

We value freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of thought, religion, and conscience. We value individual responsibility, individual goals, and diverse interests. Most of us value capitalism, albeit not unrestrained. We value free enterprise. We value mutual tolerance and respect. We value democracy. We value a sense of fairness. We very much value the rule of law. We value having a society that cares about its citizens, albeit less than we used to these days. How about that for starters?

"What do you call substantive? Come on, what do YOU suggest we do?"

I've already listed some of the stuff I think we should do over a thread or two.

In particular, we should defend freedom of speech and expression in the face of Islam (or other religions). The Salman Rushdie affair should have opened our eyes, and triggered a robust reaction. In retrospect, I reckon the Danish cartoon thing should have resulted in masses of cartoons, pictures, and statements to assert our freedom.

Also, we should prosecute violations such as threats vigorously irrespective of whether they're committed in the name of religion or by ethnic minorities. We should revisit from clear principles the hate crime laws and other assorted legislation resulting from moral panics like the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.

We should look at our current international allies, in particular Saudia Arabia and Qatar, and put some distance between us over the funding of terrorism, and the promotion of Wahhabism in the UK. We should probably encourage the challenging of politico-religious ideologies like that, as we would a resurgence of communism for instance.

There's some. Feel free to ignore the slander and other assorted crap from the Cyber Swiss Guards here, they have their own agendas and Roman Catholicism has its own fairly vicious history in England.

28 August 2014 18:30  
Blogger IanCad said...

Marie

As long as there is no compulsion - fine. Particularly on the part of the state.
In private work places it should be left up to he employer. If staff want to pray or assemble before work an enlightened company should encourage such.
For all religions.

Sure Maria, wearing the burka and my wife's make-up is not really a valid analogy. I'm never reluctant to push things though.
However, banning it is a step toward sumptuary laws. We don't want to go back there.

28 August 2014 18:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "It's not tyranny or heading toward tyranny, but a renewing of our cultural values that have been atomised by the cultural Marxists and booed off the stage by aggressive secularism.
Nobody would be forced to do anything they didn't want to."

But who actually wants to do that other than some of our Christian citizens who are a minority group in the scheme of things? If they want to do it as individuals then go right ahead! I support their freedom. Just leave the rest of us out of it. Similarly with 5 a day prayers to Allah, a prohibition of alcohol, and an obligation to conform to Ramadan.

28 August 2014 18:36  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo

Apple pie and motherhood aside, that be parenthood, nowadays, what are all these wonderful values to be based upon? What vision of man and society? The 'rule of law' based on no founding principles about man and his true nature and purpose is chimera. Nothing more. The Germans valued all those things too in the 1930's.

The suggested political moves are a sound start but without a true sense of purpose, based on shared moral values, not secular and economic ones, they can't happen.

Societies don't really work if people are regarded as individualised atoms all busying away pursuing their cocooned desires regardless of the seen and unseen consequences on the whole.

Christianity, on both sides of the Protestant-Catholic divide, has much to learn from our shared, violent history. However, this does not negate the truth of the Christian message for true health, wealth and happiness in our few short years on earth.

28 August 2014 19:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, as I've said before, I'm not interested in anything you have to say. Especially when you deliberately tell lies here as above just to try to get a response so you can do your usual mano a mano thing. Jog on.

28 August 2014 19:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I see this has just been released:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migration1/migration-statistics-quarterly-report/august-2014/index.html

28 August 2014 19:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Actually, Danjo, it wasn't written for you, just to you. You know, for the eponymous "silent reader" you're fond of. Jack has no interest in a discussion with you.

And Happy Jack will, of course, "jog on", as in its proper sense to run at a steady, gentle pace. He hopes you didn't use the term in "The Football Factory" obscene manner now common amongst chavs.

28 August 2014 20:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "What do you call substantive? Come on, what do YOU suggest we do?"

Some more bits.

I've been persuaded now that we need to come out of the EU, primarily so that we have control of immigration. I still want immigration but we need to be able to plan for it. The recent(-ish) changes to the spouse visa rules are a step in the right direction but I'm minded to be more illiberal, to encourage UK spouses to emigrate rather than foreign spouses to immigrate. I'm not sure how much more could be done to discourage arranged marriages for the purposes of immigration without catching people who genuinely meet someone abroad and want to marry them for love (one of our more modern UK traditions).

28 August 2014 21:21  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0
“But who actually wants to do that other than some of our Christian citizens who are a minority group in the scheme of things? If they want to do it as individuals then go right ahead! I support their freedom. Just leave the rest of us out of it.

Many people might want to Danj0, but you lot have taken away the opportunity to be able to do so. You've destroyed our culture. A lot of people look to something greater than the self but it's been discouraged and belittled over the years by you lot.

NO, not similarly with 5 a day prayers to Allah, a prohibition of alcohol, and an obligation to conform to Ramadan. This is not British culture.

28 August 2014 21:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "Many people might want to Danj0, but you lot have taken away the opportunity to be able to do so. You've destroyed our culture."

I love our culture now, I think it's great; a significant improvement on the past. I reckon we are extremely lucky to have won the birth location lottery at this time and for this place. If I wasn't an a-theist then I'd be on my knees every day thanking god for my good fortune.

If people want to pray before meals, and before work, or during work breaks, then they have the freedom to do so. Heck, we have a room where I work set aside for private prayer, and a nearby washroom available if Muslims want to do the ritual washing thing. I have no objection to any of that, in fact I support it.

"A lot of people look to something greater than the self but it's been discouraged and belittled over the years by you lot."

It can't be that strong a desire towards Christianity if it's that feeble. Or is it that the arguments and experience against are so strong now? No wonder Islam is growing when no amount of condescension seems to affect it.

28 August 2014 21:43  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Albert (16:37 and 16:44)—Thank you for explaining secularism; I now understand why it exercises you. I have to say, though, that I still think there are darker forces at work than secularism. One thing puzzles me. In your 16:37 comment you talk of secularism wishing to remove Christianity from the public sphere but your 16:44 comment suggests that secularism would go so far as to import other religions further to hold Christianity in check. It puzzles me because any secularist who knew Islam would know that its aggressive nature, allied to the extreme devotion of many of its adherents, would make it much more difficult to contain than Christianity. Better, I would have thought, for secularism to push Christianity to one side and leave it at that. When secularism turns to Islam for help in containing Christianity, there is surely something more than secularism at play. Those darker forces again…

you want to punish people for their beliefs?
These are not harmless beliefs. The Qur’an explicitly condones violence against non-Muslims. Any Muslim who is aware of that and remains a Muslim is no longer innocent.

28 August 2014 21:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "What do you call substantive? Come on, what do YOU suggest we do?"

A little bit more.

We shouldn't be afraid of saying this sort of stuff when it's true, simply because we're worried about offending ethnic sensibilities:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11059138/Rotherham-In-the-face-of-such-evil-who-is-the-racist-now.html

That we are shy of this is not the fault of secularism, whatever definition of that is convenient at the time. We just need not to jump to conclusions without the supporting data, which would amount to prejudice and probably racism.

28 August 2014 21:58  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Coming to your senses now Danj0 after reading Net immigration of 243,000 in the year up to June 2014. Hitting home is it? Good. Well how about prohibiting arranged marriages in this country. Of course we'll have to get out of the EU. How about prohibition of all people from muslim countries coming here or better still an immigration shut down for a period of five years until we sort ourselves out. Things are getting out of control. We can't have the numbers continuing to pour in and breeding like wildfire.

28 August 2014 22:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "Coming to your senses now Danj0 after reading Net immigration of 243,000 in the year up to June 2014. Hitting home is it? Good."

Primarily, it's because we don't have enough houses and immigration tends to cluster which overwhelms local resources.

"How about prohibition of all people from muslim countries coming here [...]"

On what basis or principle? That you don't believe in freedom of thought, conscience, and religion? One of our fundamental British values now, as it goes.

28 August 2014 22:12  
Blogger bluedog said...

'The Qur’an explicitly condones violence against non-Muslims'

Chapter and verse, JR?

28 August 2014 22:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie 1797

"You've destroyed our culture. A lot of people look to something greater than the self but it's been discouraged and belittled over the years by you lot."

This is spot on. Secularism and atheism, in combination with liberal democratic structures, and control of the mass media, have reeked havoc.

Do people know how relativism, politically correct multiculturalism and religious indifference work in our secular age? It's not about race or tribal loyalty, or even courage. It's more about a gradual slipping into a hypnotic coma.

Take Rotherham. A generation ago if young girls were being sexually active and/or promiscuous, the default setting was: this is harmful behaviour and also criminal. There would be no thought given to 'ethnicity' or the 'character' of the child. Any and all incidents would be reported to the police and investigated. There was a moral compass, based on Christian ethics, that discerned right from wrong.

Nowadays? This moral certitude has gone. Sex with a child is no longer taboo. Condoms are handed out to 14 year olds and some are put on contraceptives without parental knowledge or consent. It's accepted as normal and permissible for young people to be sexually active - to express their sexuality - "No harm; no crime"; right? And if they happen to be drawn to Asian men, well that's their choice, isn't it? Mustn't read too much into it; no racial stereotypes of race and sex here please.

Then there's the imposition of this culture of moral relativism. Endless seminars about 'equality' and 'diversity'. Careers dependant on following the secular line and orthodox secular religion. Laws forbidding 'negative' discrimination - direct and indirect - towards certain 'protected' groups. Labour Party council leaders using bully-boy tactics, driven by election results. This all bearing down on staff at the frontline.

Replicate this across society and consider its overall impact. The culture isn't yet destroyed but it is heading that way.

28 August 2014 23:04  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

JR

"These are not harmless beliefs. The Qur’an explicitly condones violence against non-Muslims. Any Muslim who is aware of that and remains a Muslim is no longer innocent.2

So what is the root of the problem? Is it the race of the Muslim? You know, non-white and group loyal etc., as opposed to the more individualistic white European? Or is it the particular belief structure of Islam itself, as manifest by a bunch of radical fundamentalists?

28 August 2014 23:11  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0
“On what basis or principle? That you don't believe in freedom of thought, conscience, and religion? One of our fundamental British values now, as it goes.”

Yes that's one very good reason, another is the condoning of violence which is antithetical to our values. (having a belief in the Quran qualifies this)
Cultural incompatibility that proves detrimental to the prosperity and growth of British society, not to want to follow British law and financial systems and most of all for the prevention of a real tyranny happening.

28 August 2014 23:27  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie 1797

The main cultural enemy is not immigration. Yes, this is being mismanaged for a range of reasons can and should be addressed and is bringing with it a threat to our core values. These values reflected Christian standards of behaviour.

Jack believes the actual cultural threat is secular relativism and atheism. These leave the nation exposed as we have no sound basis for political decision making or discerning right from wrong. Everything is contingent on circumstances and new constructed realities replace morality.

28 August 2014 23:51  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ bluedog (22:22)—24 chapters contain jihad verses. I’m not going to list them all. You’ll have to make do with chapter 9, the penultimate revelation and, thus, highly authoritative: 5, 12-14, 16, 19-20, 24-26, 29, 36, 38-39, 41, 44, 52, 73, 81, 83, 86, 88, 92, 111, 120, 122-123.

@ Happy Jack (23:11)—The root of the problem is that the West has invited an unpleasant and violent religion into its midst.

28 August 2014 23:51  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

HJ

It's sick making and chaotic where our society is heading. The left have turned it upside down.

28 August 2014 23:59  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie 1797

The godless on both the so called left and right.

JR

"The root of the problem is that the West has invited an unpleasant and violent religion into its midst."

Ummm ... as Happy Jack sees it, that's a fruit of the relativist and atheist tree, not the root cause. The West has invited a minority people with an alternative culture, based on a repressive faith system, and hasn't the moral strength to fight it because it no longer knows what it believes.

29 August 2014 00:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie:"Yes that's one very good reason [...]"

It's interesting that you can say that without the sound of flapping and squalking in the background. So much for one of our core British values when the going gets tough around here!

29 August 2014 00:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie :"It's sick making and chaotic where our society is heading. The left have turned it upside down."

Have you considered emigrating? :)

29 August 2014 00:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Perhaps when the new blog format comes along we'll be able to put down markers to which we can refer later. I'd put one around here for the next time someone lies about my supporting a right in the UK to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion again.

29 August 2014 00:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Curiously, I'm not really seeing a problem for most people in our society recognising right and wrong in the child abuse cases, whether by Pakistani gangs or by priests, and in the behaviour of the so-called Islamic State. We are not all adrift in a sea of moral relativism in reality. That said, there appears to be a bunch of people who think the behaviour of the so-called Islamic State is right and proper, and they appear to have a firm basis for that in the moral absolutism of their religion. Only, it's a different moral absolutism to that of other religionists, demonstrating that an alleged firm basis is not all that it's cracked up to be in practical terms for society.

29 August 2014 00:42  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0
Yes, markers would be a good idea.
Do you in practice as well as in theory support freedom of thought, conscience and religion then Danj0? I'll bet you'll be the first to officially complain if offended? Or moan if prayers disturbed your daily routine? That's the trouble a lot of atheists have no tolerance or patience with people of the Christian faith in reality.

29 August 2014 01:09  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Well, the state surely didn't know how to tackle Rotherham for a whole range of reasons, some of which Jack gave above.

It's one thing being in the middle of a relativist confusion, trying to make sense of it, and quite another recognising it for what it is after the event. Hindsight being wonderful.

We can all express moral outrage now but overlook what led to the abuse in Rotherham in the first place. No good sitting back and accusing individuals when we're talking about accountable agents of our society acting on our behalf. We're all culpable. Preach self-determination for teenagers, preach secular self-actualisation as the human goal, preach equality and diversity, overlook cultural differences in a misguided attempt to be transcultural, and we get the Rotherham situations.

And, of course, we're not talking about moral absolutes in the abstract here as they apply to all religions. As if all faith systems produce the same results and are equivalent. The Christian religion is specific and has distinct approaches. These are the foundation of the West and these are what is now being eroded.

Naturally, those with a minority interest, of one sort or another, will deny this. They have too much invested in moral and cultural relativity.

29 August 2014 01:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie :"Do you in practice as well as in theory support freedom of thought, conscience and religion then Danj0?"

Clearly, I support it considerably more than you do. There have been a number of real world examples raised here over the last year or so, some of which I have supported and some of which I have not, arguing accordingly from facts and principles.

"I'll bet you'll be the first to officially complain if offended?"

Never, to date. I live in Leicestershire and I have worked in Leicester, so it's not just hypothetical situations we're talking about.

"Or moan if prayers disturbed your daily routine?"

I work with a number of fairly devout Muslims and there hasn't been an issued with their prayers so far. The Christians and JWs and Hindus and Sikhs I work with don't really manifest their religion in the workplace. One Christian used to wear a lapel cross, the Hindus do the red blob thing periodically and wear those sibling strings now and again, and one Sikh wore a turban and insisted he be addressed as Mr Singh rather than by his first name like everyine else. No issues there so far.

"That's the trouble a lot of atheists have no tolerance or patience with people of the Christian faith in reality."

I'm polite but firm with JWs and Mormons at my front door, unless they won't leave. Christian flyers just end up in the bin. I happily walk past churches on Sunday without turning a hair, and I wish people Merry Christmas in December and take pleasure in Christmas trees in public places. I even attend church on occasion for weddings and christenings. In short, I don't agree with you really.

29 August 2014 01:39  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

HJ
I've got the feeling it wont be just Rotherham this has been happening in. Other places with a large population of Pakistani men and a weak council/police force/social services. Look at the street bullying of citizens in Bradford, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol etc. where nothing is done, the police are too scared to police certain areas even let alone arrest Asian men there for child abuse.

I'll sign off now. Goodnight.

29 August 2014 01:54  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

So Danj0
If you've got nothing against allowing any religions, why are you pushing for a total secular society, the goal of which is the elimination of all religions?

It's not going to work, people need something to cling to. Science and materialism advance society in some ways yes but don't take care of the emotions, morals or its soul.

I really am going now, night night.

29 August 2014 02:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie 1797

Sleep well and don't let the contrived smugness of atheists disturb you. We know who is in control of history and its trajectory. Those with a focus on carnal pursuits are really just kidding themselves and attempting to mask the spiritual void they experience.

29 August 2014 03:02  
Blogger Ivan said...


Johnny R @ 15:13, lets hope that with this we hear the last of the peace and love Christians, who were distinguished by their absence. And BTW where is the Queen, that great defender of life and liberty in Albion. Doubtless looking into some colic in her corgis or horses.

29 August 2014 03:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie :"If you've got nothing against allowing any religions, why are you pushing for a total secular society, the goal of which is the elimination of all religions?"

I am not, and I never have. It's like some people here are on mind-altering drugs at times, or are suffering from a sort of cognitive dissonance. No matter how often something is said, they see something completely different which matches their prejudices instead. It's very bizarre.

29 August 2014 04:00  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Happy Jack (23:11)—Root 1: Islam. In Saudi Arabia, where I lived for five years, Islam permeates life to an extent that Christianity, I would guess, has never permeated any Christian country. Perhaps it wouldn’t be true to say that every street has a mosque but it sometimes seemed like it; failure to attend services is noted and queried; hours of the primary school day are spent learning the Qur’an by heart and schools set up loudspeakers to broadcast their pupils’ recitations; there are many very popular religious programmes on television, watched by all ages; letters headings invariably include the basmalah—‘In the name of God’. I do not know whether Islam permeates Muslim communities in Britain to that degree. I would not expect it to but Islam’s skill at getting them young and keeping them for life is still evident with an 80 per cent devoutness rate for British Muslims.

@ HJ (00:16)—Root 2: The West/Christianity. Although the early Christian communities of Arabia, North Africa and the Middle East must have been steeped in the faith, their spirituality was no defence against Islam. The Spanish successfully ejected Islam and then, in recent years, readmitted it. Because of its peace-loving nature (and, please, I don’t want to get drawn into discussions of just war—I am making a general point), Christianity will always be on at a disadvantage against Islam. The answer is not to mix the two.

29 August 2014 09:55  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thanks JR @ 23.51

29 August 2014 10:46  
Blogger Malcolm Smith said...

There is a fundamental difference in the way Christians and Muslims handle controversy, based on their history. Christian spent its first 300 years as a persecuted minority faith. It therefore developed the art of apologetics.
Islam started as an imperial religion enforced from above. Non-Muslims were forbidden to preach to Muslims on penalty of exile, or worse. On the other hand, they came under relentless pressure to convert to Islam - not by argument, but by persecution. Thus, Islam never developed the art of apologetics, so when they come to a free country and discover - hell forbid! - there are people who will argue against their religion, they can think of no other reaction that to attempt to suppress them. Also, they live in a culture of "honour", which obliges them to get angry and aggressive if anyone threatens their honour - say, by criticizing their religion. Unfortunately for them, this is a very good way to lose face in Western society.
Fortunately, the Lord has ways and means of getting around this. I suggest you read Dreams and Visions. Is Jesus awakening the Muslim world? for some really astonishing stories. More about it here.

29 August 2014 11:20  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

JR

So is it the faith system and its inculcation rather than the race of the believer? Or are you suggesting certain 'races', because of genetics and group loyalty, succumb to more totalitarian religions as a survival mechanism? The distinction is relevant.

29 August 2014 13:35  

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