Sunday, August 06, 2006

Muslim produces BBC series questioning the divinity of Jesus

The BBC is beginning a series examining the authenticity of the miracles of Jesus. Apparently, ‘new evidence’ has come to light questioning the claims made in the Bible. The series is produced and presented by Rageh Omaar, the BBC’s most high-profile Muslim correspondent, who has previously presented a documentary on Europe's Islamic past, which claimed to ‘look back to a golden age when European civilisation was enriched by Islamic learning’. In his examination of Jesus, Omaar travelled to the Sea of Galilee to look at the historical and archaeological evidence for events such as the feeding of the 5000, walking on water, and the Resurrection itself.

The alternative explanations for these miracles that Omaar suggests include mass hysteria or delusion, and he questions whether the crucified body of Christ could have been ‘thrown to dogs in a rubbish dump’. The BBC is promoting this as ‘Rageh’s journey’, but it is manifestly more an Islamic slant on the man Christians believe to be the Son of God. The Qur'an corroborates Isa the miracle-worker, but for the Jesus of the Bible they were proof of who he was.

The Old Testament reveals a high ethical conception of God who works miracles for high ethical purposes, and unfolds a dispensation of prophecy leading up to Christ. In fulfilment of this prophecy Christ works miracles. His answer to the messengers of John the Baptist was that they should go and tell John what they had seen (Luke 7:22; cf. Isaiah 35:5). Jesus openly professed to work miracles. He appeals repeatedly to his ‘work’ as most authentic and decisive proof of his divine sonship (John 5:18-36; 10:24-37) and of his mission (John 14:12), and for this reason condemns the obstinacy of the Jews as inexcusable (John 15:22, 24). He worked miracles to establish the Kingdom of God (Matthew 12; Luke 11), gave to the Apostles (Matthew 10:8) and disciples (Luke 10:9, 19) the power of working miracles, thereby instructing them to follow the same method, and promised that the gift of miracles should persist in the Church (Mark 16:17). At the sight of his marvellous works, the Jews (Matthew 9:8), Nicodemus (John 3:2), and the man born blind (John 9:33) confess that they must be ascribed to divine power.

To refute the miracles is to deny the immanence of God and the divinity of Jesus, and one is left more with an Islamic view of God and a Muslim Jesus – prophet, but not divine. The series is yet a further example of the BBC's pathological inclination to undermine Christianity and exalt Islam uncritically. The religio-politics here? Well, Cranmer is forced to pay a compulsory government tax of £131.50 to finance the BBC. He wonders why a portion of this could not be spent on a documentary in which a prominent Christian presents an evidence-based examination of the claims of Islam and the character of Mohammed…


Anonymous billy said...

Dear Sir,

Firstly, I would be grateful to know the correct form of address for a deceased Arch Bishop.

Secondly, this may be a case where it would be better to see the programmes before commenting. They may well strengthen our Christian beliefs, and serve to highlight the emptiness of the BBC's politically correct efforts to appease the Muslim hotch potch of our fair Christian isles.

6 August 2006 at 08:26  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Billy,

'Your Grace' is perfectly acceptable, deceased or otherwise.

Cranmer takes the view that anything may serve to strengthen the faith of the believer (James 1:3; Romans 8:28), yet the consistent and persistent presentation of programmes that question and undermine can only serve to weaken the perception of the faith to the non-believer. The BBC thereby becomes a stumbling block to the weak (1Corinthians 8:9), which Cranmer is obliged to help finance.

6 August 2006 at 08:57  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

The juvenility of the BBC has already become an "issue" in itself.

I would be interested to learn if such programmes, and the obvious slant of the research undertaken to produce them, are in accordance with its Charter.

If not, then surely that would constitute an opportunity to instigate a widespread refusal to pay the annual licence fee, all under the sanction of law. The moment to challenge the legality of this annual licence fee has already arrived ... no?

I must assume, at a fundamental level, the BBC is legally bound to broadcast to all British Citizens, without undue offence, and not pander to just one (extreme) political constituency.

And ... where is the Rt Rvd Rowan Williams in all of this?

6 August 2006 at 09:34  
Blogger Professor D.C. Warmington said...

My Lord Archbishop

Your Grace complains: Cranmer is forced to pay a compulsory government tax of £131.50 to finance the BBC.

I would respectfully refer Your Grace's diocesan staff, as well as your many British readers, to BBC Resistance, where they will find that payment of the TV tax has become entirely voluntary. Should Your Grace's staff choose to write to TV Licensing (part of a private company) and withdraw the implied right of access to the Archbishop's palace, they will discover that TV Licensing will be unable to pester them further and will be, to use the modern termed, stuffed.

I must apologize to Your Grace for inadvertently addressing Your Grace as "sir" in the valediction in a former note; and it is a sign not only of my Lord Archbishop's magnanimity, but also of his Christian humbleness, that he chose to overlook this solecism.

I remain, Your Grace,

A determined opponent of the BBC and its anti-Semitism, its anti-Britishness, and its general antipathy to all I regard as noble, honest and dear,

A. de T.

6 August 2006 at 09:41  
Anonymous Rick said...

Rageh Omaar is a fraud. A rich boy who went to a very expensive public school and married into English aristocracy he is a BBC golden boy................but he will do Muslims a lot of damage with this series. No doubt the BBC will be happiest when it can film a violently divided society like Lebanon or Iraq from the safety of its own offices in London

6 August 2006 at 09:48  
Blogger Deep Stoat said...

There is a sort of current virus that is going around because of world affairs and recent bombings in the Capital. Its symptoms are a fear (not unlike a fear of spiders) of Islam. We must be careful, I think, not to get caught up in hysteria and look at the problems in as coldly rational light as possible.

I have not seen the programme, but Rageh Omagh is typical of the pretty-boy ethnic types that the BBC hierarchy, influenced, no doubt, by their dubious sexual preferences, love of recreational drugs and social prejudices, likes to employ. Another commentator has alluded to Omagh's Islamic credentials and it it clear he is about as Islamic as a glass of beer and a ham sandwich. All in all it would appear that this is just another example of the BBC's distaste for Christianity, rather than a serious and organised Islamic plot. In other words the bogie man is the BBC and not Islam in this context.

The points about Christianity appear, as ever, very sound and yes, miracles are part of the fundamental building blocks of the faith, along with the resurrection.

Here is a real and very satisfying miracle: it is that Christianity has withstood 2000 years of persecution (a nod here to the incumbent of this blog)and the Holy Spirit is able to guide seekers of the truth into the truth. Yet another Christian-bashing glossy programme from the miserable Broken Biscuit Company will not change that.

6 August 2006 at 11:30  
Blogger Mercian Crusader said...

Your Grace,

I am incensed about this and will write to the BBC about it.

The BBC is meant to produce balanced and or impartial programmes. Where does that seemingly apply to this?

Rageh Ommar is being allowed to push his propoganda out to the masses which unfortunately are almost unswerving believers of everything the BBC does.

His previous documentary which claimed to ‘look back to a golden age when European civilisation was enriched by Islamic learning’ must have been interesting. Islamic learning? Islam oppresses the people and suppresses the creativity of every culture it has conquered.

I am for freedom of speech and religion is Islam?

6 August 2006 at 11:36  
Anonymous Colin said...

When I read this post I was reminded of Paul Daniels’ claim that Jesus was nothing more than an illusionist. It is sad and more than a tad annoying that the BBC would broadcast a series like this, but it is not really surprising. Even a brief viewing of any television drama or (God forbid) soap opera which has a Christian character will show that character being portrayed as cold and dogmatic, or eccentric to the point of insane. Add to that the prevalent culture of relativism in the media especially in regard to matters of religion – one viewing of The Heaven and Earth programme on BBC1 is proof of that – and you have a rich ground for someone like Rageh Omaar to produce a programme designed, one can only assume, to discredit the entire basis of Christianity. I think we will be waiting for a long time before any such programme is made about Islam and Mohammed.

6 August 2006 at 12:23  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

colin, my apologies for firing a broadside at you earlier. Your quick apology showed you to be a good sort. His Grace was fully justified when he pointed to my "little over-zealous-ness" in my riposte.

These are serious times. I interpreted you as a "fly-by trouble-maker." Successful and erudite Blogs do attract them you know! One has to be wary. In future I shall let His Grace decide when to unleash the "Four Horsemen." It's his Blog after all.

With my necessary grovelling done, I shall now turn to the topic at hand: The BBC and Islam.

Let us be clear gentlemen ... Islam is not a religion, it is a Cult. It has similarities to a pyramid scheme: success attracts rapid converts, which inflates success, which attracts more hasty converts. Of course, the conversion (or acquiescence process) is helped if someone is holding a sword to your throat: physically or metaphorically. Hence the occasional, well-planned terror event, to generate media hysteria, which dusts the minds of confused people with a sense of intimidation (the desired result). The prison toilet issue [see other Cranmer post] is just a no-cost, act of psycho-warfare to gauge "how well are we (i.e., Muslims) doing so far?"

Shooting Muslim suspects either deliberately, or accidentally, and at every single opportunity, is an excellent strategy of counter intimidation. The 12 bullets that entered the brain of that unfortunate Brazilian echoed all around the Arab world. They trembled, believe me they did.

As for the instrument of our current demise: multiculturalism. I think it may have been another erudite blogger going by the moniker Fjordman, who wrote:

... a multicultural society represents nothing more than a state of transition; eventually one culture (perhaps a new more aggressive one, or the old one re-invigorated) will have to eventually emerge triumphant and dominant. It is simply not in human nature to tolerate a society that lacks a clear, dominant player.

In other words, the status quo will not last much longer. Of that you can be certain.

6 August 2006 at 13:50  
Anonymous Rick said...

The fact that Rageh Omar is a Somalian Muslim automatically invalidates anything he might wish to say about Christian Theology especially since what we are looking at is in fact Judaism since Christianity did not really exist under the Resurrection.

As I recall it was this same Rageh Omaar who had cringing aand imploring letters sent to Saddam's Ministry of information published -

his education as a "pudgy" schoolboy at the Dragon School in Oxford, his history degree at Oxford University, his route to the BBC via the World Service, and eventually his marriage into an aristocratic family (his wife is the daughter of a baronet whose title dates from the 1600s).

But the British journalism rulebook does not permit unlimited success. The hatchet was taken up by Richard Beeston, diplomatic editor of The Times, who discovered documents in the information ministry after the downfall of Saddam that showed Omaar had done a bit of sucking up to the regime - he had written to the director of the ministry, Uday al-Taie: "After promising and promising to have dinner with you for such a long time - we finally did it. Alhamdullilah!!!!! For me, this was the main achievement of my visit."

The Times, rather alarmingly for Omaar and rather surprisingly to everyone else, put the story on its front page.,,2092-2199873,00.html

London is now very much a Muslim city. It has become part of the story of the Arab Middle East: a centre for Arab and Islamic writing, publishing and broadcasting and one of the largest centres of political exile and refuge for dissidents, whether they are secular politicians or radical clerics or just ordinary people who want to live their lives in a way they cannot back in their own countries. No other western city has anywhere near the importance that London has in the Islamic world.

The conversation turned to the conflict and famine in Somalia — “Africa’s big story of the moment”, as one of them described it. Both journalists knew I was from Somalia; both had read reports on the conflict by my sister, Rakiya, who was a well known human rights activist. I waited to present my own views on the Somali tragedy.

I thought Omaar worked now for Al-Jazeerah

6 August 2006 at 14:36  
Anonymous billy said...

Thank you Your Grace for your reply in which you wrote: Cranmer takes the view that anything may serve to strengthen the faith of the believer (James 1:3; Romans 8:28), yet the consistent and persistent presentation of programmes that question and undermine can only serve to weaken the perception of the faith to the non-believer.

I am constantly amazed that the views of those without faith, or whose beliefs are erroneous, are given any consideration in these Christian isles.

6 August 2006 at 16:31  
Blogger Mercian Crusader said...

Your Grace,

I have been thinking more on this matter and have wondered when there will be a similar programmes on other religious figures such as one on Mohammed by a christian or one on Buddha by a chinese atheist?

As hard as I try I simply cannot believe that the BBC would allow these programmes due to some PC diatribe they follow. Why then is it socially acceptable for this programme to made let alone aired.

I am really disappointed with the constant bashing that Christianity gets by mainstream media and other faiths. The Christian faith has for centuries tried to get along with other faiths only for these faiths to demand more in appeasement.

Rick .. you are right Rageh Omaar does indeed work for Al Jazeera and he is a presenter on the nightly weekday documentary series Witness for Al Jazeera International. No biased opinion there there whatsoever

6 August 2006 at 17:08  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

rick, you may be best placed to dig deeper on the relationship between Al-Jazeera and the BBC.

Information I picked up a few years back was that the initial team that started up Al-Jazeera were all trained by the BBC.


billy ... our sceptered Isle has, since the early 1980s, been the cultural balliwick of post-modernists. A quick study will show this creed is both antithetical and hostile to Christianity. Hope this solves your puzzle.

6 August 2006 at 17:30  
Anonymous Rick said...

You are quite correct Mission insofar as I heard that too. It was a Foreign Office thing to create a World Service Arabic TV under BBC auspices but as with the World Service Radio - FCO pays the bills.

Such is political constancy that moods changed and the funding was withdrawn so the journos were laid off - Qatar bought them for a new TV station headquartrerd in London with studios in Qatar.

Now the Foreign Office wants BBC to create an Arabic Language TV station to compete with Al-Jazeera and has switched funding from World Service Radio to pay for it.

6 August 2006 at 18:10  
Anonymous Rick said...

According to the British Sunday Herald, "The BBC is to cut back its World Service broadcasting in Eastern Europe to fund an Arabic channel to take on Al Jazeera. The station will go on air in 2007."

Al Jazeera was funded by this al-Thani who – again, according to the intelligence service Stratfor - took power in a bloodless coup in 1995 from his father who “remains a good friend of Saudi Arabian elements that oppose the invasion of Iraq.” Al-Thani launched al Jazeera a year later, in 1986. According to Wikipedia, “In April of that year, the BBC World Service's Arabic language TV station, faced with censorship demands by the Saudi Arabian government, had shut down after two years of operation. Many of the former BBC staff members joined Al Jazeera.”

6 August 2006 at 18:16  
Blogger George Jeffreys said...

Your Grace,

I am so sickened by the apathy of my kinsfolk ...that like yourself ...I am forced to reach out from the ethereal region

I will endeavour to learn "Blogging" and re-instate my Bloody Assizes for mercifully swift justice.

Colin said...
"When I read this post I was reminded of Paul Daniels’ claim that Jesus was nothing more than an illusionist."

Yes ...with a little persuasion ...the rebellious scum of Monmouth confessed that Christ did indeed walk on water ...aided by his pretty assistant ...Debbie McGee

I rest my case

Incumbent Hanging Judge ...George

6 August 2006 at 19:41  
Anonymous Colin said...

Mission Impossible - no need for any apologies - we all jump to rash judgements at times. No offence was taken.

6 August 2006 at 19:43  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

I decided to watch part 1 before commenting on this. There was a huge emphasis on the prophethood of Jesus, and the 'symbolism' (ie possible not literal) of the miracles. There was consistent use of phrases like 'Christians claim', 'the Church believes', or miracles 'credited to Jesus'.

I may have been hearing things, but I'm sure I heard on two occasions the rejoicing Hebrews shout 'Allahu Akbar' (*when they were carrying the Ark of the Covenant). Does Hebrew for 'God is great' sound very like the Arabic? If not, the BBC used Arabic, I'm 99% certain.

Part 1 ended with who the Church 'says' Jesus is (ie the Son of God). Omaar said that part 2 will be an examination of this claim (ie, a challenge to it).

I am really shocked that a Muslim (devout, practising, or just nominal) should be making this programme. I'm all for freedom of speech, and questioning or challenging religious beliefs, but the BBC MUST answer why they wouldn't invite a Christian to make a programme on the 'claims' of Islam and analyse the actions 'credited' to Muhammed.

6 August 2006 at 20:15  
Blogger Mercian Crusader said...

Your Grace,

I comment again on this posting after watching the 1st programme.

I too heard the shouting Allahu Ackbar on a number of occasions so Ulster Man you were not imagining it.

Rageh pointedly used phrasology that implied that the church and scriptures are lying about Jesus.

I will be writing to the BBC asking that a christian make a documentary on whether Mohammed could do everything the Koran says he did as a counterbalance to this already distorted view being pandered by them.

6 August 2006 at 21:07  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr George Jeffreys,

Cranmer is delighted to welcome the 1st Baron of Wem to his blog.

Mr Ulster Man,

His Grace is a little hard of hearing these days, but he was also sure he heard shouts of 'Allahu Akhbar'. The Arabic is nothing like the Hebrew. Indeed, 'Allah' is also a Hebrew word, but it means oak, not God. The similar sounding 'Alah' means curse. Elohim is Hebrew for the supreme God, though it also means gods plural. As for 'akhbar', or something sounding like it, Cranmer knows of no word that makes sense in the context of rejoicing or praising God.

Therefore, it would appear that the BBC had Jews shouting 'Allahu Akhbar'. Why?

Mr Mercian Crusader,

Cranmer wishes you well with your epistle, and would be interested to hear of the response. He doubts it will be little more than a courtesy, with a polite rebuttal of your assertions. A copy of the script for the dramatised sections would, however, establish whether or not the Jews were praising God in Arabic.

6 August 2006 at 22:38  
Anonymous Rick said...

why they wouldn't invite a Christian to make a programme on the 'claims' of Islam and analyse the actions 'credited' to Muhammed.

A true Christian should treat Islam like Scientology - lots of people believe in it but it is FAKE

Rageh Omaar defiles Christianity because he is an Infidel.........

6 August 2006 at 22:39  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Good grief, this is the first BBC programme I have ever heard of examining any theological question from a Muslim perspective. We have Christian programming every week!

Once in a blue moon, somebody else gets a word in edgeways and you are all crying oppression! What is it with you people? Is any disagreement with your beliefs an act of oppression?

Sure Christians believe various things about Jesus. Other people don't. Are we not supposed to be allowed to know that they don't?

The epistles of Paul are (among other things) clearly one side of a dialogue on questions of doctrine. If the text of the other side of the dialogue was found, should it be published, so we could understand the whole dialogue better, or would this too be an act of oppression of christians?

These days in particular, it is important to understand Islam and Muslims, even, or especially, if we end up fighting them.


A true Christian should treat Islam like Scientology - lots of people believe in it but it is FAKE

sure - what is the difference between a genuine false religion and a fake false religion anyway?

Rageh Omaar defiles Christianity because he is an Infidel mean he disagrees with Christianity, because he is not a Christian. As all non-Christians must!

6 August 2006 at 22:44  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

rick, thanks for your brilliant sleuth investigations.

ulster man ... I understand there is a linguistic connection between present day Arabic and early Aremaic. Jesus spoke Aremaic, and the Bible was first translated from Aremaic.

Non-Dhimmi Scholars believe those peace-loving and tolerant Suras (Qu'ranic chapters) in the Qu'ran are actually adaptations of early Christian practices and scriptures. Nothing more. In other words, they plagiarised about one-third of their pseudo-religion from Christianity (and Judaism). That isn't neo-fascist language, it is the factual truth.

Those Suras that are authentically Qu'ranic contrast greatly in tone. They are aggressive, imperialistic, intolerant, etc.

7 August 2006 at 06:09  
Anonymous Rick said...

We have Christian programming every week!

Where ? You have programming which is "multifaith" but not particularly Christian.

Sure Christians believe various things about Jesus. Other people don't. Are we not supposed to be allowed to know that they don't?

Very vague, is your knowledge so limited ? You would not normally get Kate Silverton to discuss Entropy or Szilard's Theory of Chain-Reaction because she has no basis - so what does Rageh Omaar know of Judaism - because it is Judaism not Christianity that is the subject of this programme - the first 70 years of Christianity following the Crucifixion Christians were a Jewish sect within the synagogue and with Saturday as The Sabbath - the first 17 Bishops were Jewish.

So we have a Muslim doing a programme on a Jew who claimed to be upholfding the Law of Moses and to be the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah.

7 August 2006 at 07:09  
Anonymous Rick said...

you mean he disagrees with Christianity, because he is not a Christian. As all non-Christians must!

No I mean he knows ZILCH about Christianity just as Joe Otten appears to know very little. Muslims do not even know Trinitarianism

7 August 2006 at 07:10  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

joe otten ... clearly you don't believe religion matters much. If that is so, then please show me a country that has achieved anything worthwhile, without one (or a spiritual philosophy).

Good grief, this is the first BBC programme I have ever heard of examining any theological question from a Muslim perspective. We have Christian programming every week!

Why do we need a Muslim perspective? Islam has already declared war against the West. Unadulterated hatred (towards non-Muslims, including Atheists) is preached in mosques right across the Muslim world, ever single week. And if a Muslim perspective could be shown to be necessary, then why should it be the BBC producing one?

Once in a blue moon, somebody else gets a word in edgeways and you are all crying oppression! What is it with you people? Is any disagreement with your beliefs an act of oppression?

A word in edgeways? Views blatantly sympathetic to Islam and to Muslims (no matter what atrocities they perpetrate) are broadcast from the BBC on a daily basis, and have been since about 1997. Hostility towards Christianity and Judaism is signalled by omissions, tone, voice inflection, body language, and doctored film footage. Christians are not geared up to denigrate other faiths, so I don't see how your "word in edgeways" complaint can be justified. By far the loudest noises are being generated my Muslims, and this has been so since 2001.

Christianity lies at the heart of the Western world and of civilization itself.

Christianity underpins the Magna Carta and the American Constitution.

Christianity is Britain's state religion, which it is the duty of the BBC to uphold.

Christianity underpins the Geneva Convention on the humane treatment of prisoners. Muslims, on the other hand do not prescribe to this, preferring to follow the Hadith, which instructs them to either enslave their captives, slaughter them in gruesome fashion, or use them as bargaining chips. Hamas and Hizbollah have recently demonstrated this.

Christianity has created freedom for you, I, and others on this Blog to speak freely. It has also given you the freedom to think foolishly without fear of retribution.

Islam, meanwhile, has created a "prison of the mind" for perhaps 2-Billion people. There is no freedom of expression, and little creativity in the Islamic world. There has never been a great culture or civilization built from scratch by Muslims -- not even the Iran model. Its so-called "golden age" corresponds only to that time when it had just conquered several thriving Christian / Judaic cultures around the Mediterranean. History shows that from the point of Islam's arrival, each and every one then declined into near extinction.

Therefore, to resist Islam is to literally to engage yourself in a fight for survival of your whole way of life. You want your children to live under the political domain of Arabs? Then, just continue smirking at us, whilst you drink your beer. Never mind, eh? Can't be bothered say you, eh?

Islam is a desert cult, and it simply does not belong here, in Britain or in Europe. There is no valid Islamic view of Christianity to be found. What is already written in the Qu'ran and the Hadith is sufficient. We can learn all we need to know from those.

Rageh Omaar is a wretch from the horn of Africa, to whom we have given one of our best educations, a titled wife, and a high-profile position in our state-sponsored media. For all we have done for him, he is now demonstrating his treasonous "appreciation." This is what multiculturalism does to a country mad enough to worship it.

In short, our complaint is rooted in values, and national identity; not in an overly sensitive or intolerant response to fair criticism.

You want to be a man? No, not a post-modern, 'pretend man'; but the kind of man that history will take note of, and bother to remember? Then join the enlightened ones and prepare to pick up your sword and shield. The next Crusade is about to begin; only this time, the objective will have to be the total destruction of Islam. We must purge the world of this poison once and for all.

7 August 2006 at 07:44  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Joe Otten,

You are very welcome to Cranmer's blog. The dialogue to which you refer is indeed important. The principal question of this thread is to ask why, if it is important to examine Christianity from a Muslim perspective, the BBC does not examine Islam from a Christian one. A simple request for equality of treatment and reciprocity in analysis. That is all.

Mr Mission Impossible,

Cranmer is aware of the numerous etymological links there are between Aramaic and Arabic. You are correct to point these out. But the dramatisations which used 'Allahu Akhbar' were surrounding the Exodus, and carrying the Ark of the Covenant to the Promised Land, more than a thousand years before Christ. Jesus and his disciples indeed would have spoken Aramaic in the first century AD; Moses and the Hebrew slaves departing Egypt between c1800-1300BC (scholars differ) would not have done.

7 August 2006 at 07:50  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Extremely interesting correction Your Grace. Thank you for that clarification.

I write from a locale in South East Asia, therefore I am unable to tune-in to BBC terrestrial programming.

7 August 2006 at 08:03  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

South East Asia?! Good grief! I thought Your Grace's blog was a UK affair, with Ulster as its extreme outpost!

I'm impressed this blog reaches so far. It's the only one I know that bothers to look at the religious undercurrents to the politics. If anyone wants to understand modern politics, to insist that it's nothing to do with religion is just ignorance. Incidentally, Cranmer, (off topic)that Scottish Cardinal is again blaming all of Britain's racial and religious woes on the Act of Settlement. Maybe we hear more of his ranting here than you do in England, but it's gotto be worth a post.

Back to the BBC. The 'BBC Resistance' referred to by Aubrey has not made the licence fee voluntary. Every court case attempting to address the issue has been lost. It is a compulsory tax. People have no more right to evade it than they have to withold a portion of their income tax because they disagree with defence spending.

7 August 2006 at 09:42  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Rick, MI, Cranmer,

Thankyou for your responses.

Do only Christians understand Christianity? And only Muslims understand Islam, and only atheists understand atheism? Perhaps. Or do only Christians, or only Muslims, or only atheists understand all three? Perhaps. How can we tell without hearing everybody's arguments?

I think the BBC should give a platform to a wider range of views; are you asking for this, or for a narrower range of views?

"Views blatantly sympathetic to Islam and to Muslims (no matter what atrocities they perpetrate)"

Can't say I've noticed this. I see nothing but hostility and condemnation for terrorists. Muslims who are not terrorists on the other hand deserve as much sympathy as everyone else. Love your neighbour.

MI, your claims for christianity are a little suspect. If it was Christianity that invented freedom and human rights, why didn't we get them over a thousand years earlier? Surely it was the enlightenment, partly made possible by the fact that while Christians had closed the schools of Greek philosophy and destroyed the books, Muslims had preserved some of them. And indeed arguably Islam previously had a mini enlightenment of its own with Ibn Khaldoun etc.

"Islam is a desert cult, and it simply does not belong here, in Britain or in Europe. There is no valid Islamic view of Christianity to be found."

There is a touch of relativism here. If Islam is false (I agree) it is false everywhere, not just for white people.

As to validity, I don't know what that is, or why it is important. If a Muslim questions why you believe what you do, you should be able to give a good answer without getting upset about it. If Christians could put together a programme explaining how we know their beliefs about Jesus are true after all, I would watch it. I have heard nothing better than the Trilemma type argument which presupposes the truth of the bible. (Do I have to explain why that means it is not a very good argument?)

MI, no thanks. The Cult of the Hero has been done before with bad consequences. Crusades have been done before too, and good christians are not proud of them.

7 August 2006 at 10:25  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

He wonders why a portion of this could not be spent on a documentary in which a prominent Christian presents an evidence-based examination of the claims of Islam and the character of Mohammed…
Cranmer, probably because that prominent Christian would end up dead and poetential Christian martrys are thin on the ground these days.

7 August 2006 at 10:55  
Blogger Professor D.C. Warmington said...

Dear Mr Ulster Man

You say The 'BBC Resistance' referred to by Aubrey has not made the licence fee voluntary. Perhaps I should clarify. There is no legal obligation to communicate with TV Licensing (a recent ministerial pronouncement by Shaun Woodward, M.P., makes this plain). If you cancel your direct debit to TV Licensing or otherwise withhold payment, TVL's computer will generate a minatory letter addressed to you or to "The Occupier", or to "The Present Occupier". This can and should be ignored, as should all the many letters that follow. (In the interests of recycling, I myself shred them to add to my compost heap, or make them into papier-mache toys for my children. Some 23.5 million such letters are sent out annually by TVL.)

You will be threatened with a "visit" by an "Enforcement Officer". You are under no obligation to speak to this person or admit him to your premises. Indeed, you would be well advised not to do the latter, because no criminal checks are made on TVL employees, despite the fact that its parent company, Capita plc, runs the Criminal Records Bureau. There have been well documented cases of TVL employees falsifying evidence, perverting the course of justice, and even assaulting a member of the public.

In the event of your non-cooperation you will be threatened with a search warrant. These are issued by magistrates and cost TVL money to acquire, so are rarely sought. They are sought whenever there are at least two pieces of cogent evidence that licence evasion is taking place: for example, a TV set has been seen through the window with a live broadcast on the screen, &c.

You will be threatened with a £1000 fine for non-payment. In practice the average fine is £140 -- about the cost of a TV licence, should the matter ever come to court, which is most unlikely -- should you inform TVL that you withdraw their implied right of access.

Wearing now my lawyer's hat, I rehearse the fact that no one has any right to set foot on your property without your permission. The postman, milkman, &c., who freely walk up your garden path are relying on their "implied right of access" thereto. But this can be withdrawn. Were I to write to the Post Office and withdraw the implied right of access of their employees, agents and assigns, they would henceforth be unable to deliver my letters without committing the tort of simple trespass. Should a venturesome postman inadvertently damage anything whatsoever on my property while so trespassing, the offence becomes "aggravated trespass". Should he seek to repeat his offence, I could apply for an injunction which, if subsequently ignored, would be most seriously regarded by the court. Our learned friend Judge J. might even be moved to hang the entire board of the Post Office, a development which I believe many would welcome.

The detector vans do not exist, except as a propaganda tool. That is why I said TVL are "stuffed" if you withdraw the implied right of access to your premises. There is thus no need to pay the licence fee if, like me, you abominate the BBC.

Incidentally, I do not have a TV set and am treated by TVL as though I do, for reasoning with them is pointless. They are best ignored. And under no circumstances whatever should you speak to a TVL employee, other than to say "Please leave immediately. If you do not do so, I shall summon the constabulary."

I hope this makes matters a little clearer, and remain,

Yours sincerely, &c.

A. de T.

7 August 2006 at 11:25  
Anonymous Rick said...

Do only Christians understand Christianity?

That is a philosophical question. I would add that most persons in the West calling themselves "Christians" do not in fact understand Christian theology.

Then again I submit that few Muslims understand Islam, illiteracy is a major accompaniment to Islamin a way it is not in Christianity or Judaism.

Unfortunately the religion most similar to Christianity, Judaism, also displays great ignorance of Christian theology and the stripping of Jewish midrash from biblical teaching has made many "Christians" uncertain as to how to understand the words of Jesus Christ.

So I would say it is impossible for a Muslim to understand Christianity or Judaism; it is simply too sophisticated for a desert religion with no concept of Baptism, Election, Grace, Trans-Substantiation, Con-Substantiation, Real Presence, Original Sin, Repentance, or Luther's exegesis on Crux Probat Omnia.

In fact we currently have in The See of Rome the greatest German Theologian since Martin Luther, and perhaps if Rageh Omaar were to immerse himself in Luther's works and understand what Luther's Theology of the Cross involved, he might better avoid making a fool of himself by superficiality and blasphemous treatment of the Head of The Church of the 2.5 billion adherents of the world's largest religion

7 August 2006 at 12:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7 August 2006 at 18:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

better link

7 August 2006 at 18:05  
Blogger Joe Otten said...


Doubtless some will engage in a debate as to whether Islam truly demands this sort of behaviour, or whether it is a distortion of Islam.

But that debate really only makes sense for Muslims. The question of what Islam truly demands only makes sense for Muslims. The rest of us don't believe there is any "true" version of Islam, and therefore there is nothing that the "true version" of it demands.

When non-Muslims weigh in to this debate, whether it is IM on one side, or the Prime Minister on the other, I am tempted to retort: if you believe there is such a thing as a true kind of Islam, you must be a Muslim.

Some Muslims behave abominably, others don't. The same can be said of Christians, Jews, atheists, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, you name it. I dare say the proportions are not equal, nor do I have any research to suggest in what way they are not equal.

7 August 2006 at 19:23  
Blogger Opinionated Youth said...

rick u claim Islam is "fake", yet more and more people are converting to Islam...if christianity or whatever faith you are was "the real deal" then why doesnt it have so many converts?

7 August 2006 at 20:52  
Anonymous Rick said...

Opinionated Youth you make several errors of logic. You count bodies - "converts" means nothing. Islam has no baptism - and threatens those who choose to leave - look at the cases in Iran at present.

The basis of Christianity is "Grace" and "Election" - not numbers. I fear you have a basic misunderstanding. It does not matter - there is no merit in selling Islam to more and more people, that is the language of Cultism.

7 August 2006 at 21:06  
Anonymous Rick said...

Opinionated Youth

7 August 2006 at 21:14  
Anonymous Rick said...

Back to tinyurl

7 August 2006 at 21:16  
Anonymous David Aberdeen said...

Your Grace,

The BBC has had and to a large extent still have a monopoly on 'Christian' programming in the UK thereby ensuring only BBC approved 'Christianity' can be broadcast. By law, before 1990 Christians could not own any independent broadcasting station in the UK -a dubious honour shared only with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Following the 1990 Broadcasting Act Christians were allowed to run satellite TV or radio and local analogue AM/FM radio but still only under the discretion of the Radio Authority/Independent Television Commission. Christians are still banned from holding any other kind of licence. Therefore, only one section of the community, namely members of a religious faith, are banned from holding digital and national broadcasting licences.

I would be intrigued to read Your Grace's opinion on this matter.

7 August 2006 at 21:36  
Anonymous david aberdeen said...

dear opinionated youth,

In my humble opinion Christianity is growing massively, not in Europe or North America, but in Latin America, Africa and Asia; the underground church in China is huge but for understandable reasons they cannot advertise their presence too loudly as only approved churches are, well... approved.

7 August 2006 at 21:44  
Blogger Brituncula said...

One of the BBC Have Your Say Muslim panel members has a charmingly naive take on understanding of Christianity: "What I know about Christianity comes from how it was meant to be as described in the Qu'ran" (in fairness she's possibly reacting to the generally hostile tone of the exasperated natives who have evidently HAD IT with being told they're ignorant of Islam)

7 August 2006 at 22:32  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

David Aberdeen: Christians are banned from parts of broadcasting? Quote me the act! The DG of the BBC is a christian.

8 August 2006 at 00:01  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

Opinionated youth.
I am an agnostic with Christian leanings.
Why should I, or anybody like myself, find Islam a better option should I choose to believe?

8 August 2006 at 00:19  
Blogger Tom Tyler said...

I count myself most blessed to have found your blogpage, Your Grace. Your writings herein amply atone for the errors committed in your days of nature. Perhaps you required a brief stay in Purgatory? But I'm sure that you are forbidden to speak of such mysteries.

8 August 2006 at 01:49  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Joe otten … you make many good points. Allow me to respond variously. My apologies in advance to His Grace and all Cranmer Blog Readers, as this posting is rather long.

The BBC channel I watch, or at least am able to watch if I choose to, is BBC-World (via satellite). The beam I receive has a very large footprint stretching from East Africa and the Middle East, across to SE Asia (and all points in between, especially populous India). As a proud British citizen (ahem, subject!) I—along with many other Brits living (or working) outside of Europe—am disgusted that the BBC so carelessly abuses its name (British Broadcasting Corp) in order to advance an agenda that is antithetical to British interests, culture, and history. That is a subjective evaluation I know, but one that is shared by all those I have spoken on the issue with, and is frequently echoed in articles penned by non-British persons. The British terrestrial programming (that BBC-World used to squeeze between its 30-minute, on the hour, news bulletins) was removed from BBC-World several years ago, to make way for the launching of a channel dedicated to them, called BBC-Prime (which is subscription only; whilst BBC-World is offered “free” in the standard package of all satellite operators). Thus, BBC-World was re-launched as a tableau rasa for the creation of a dogma laden, post-modernist, Leftist-Marxist, political campaigning channel that only actually pretends to be a “news” channel. Thus, and therefore, we soon got to the highly embarrassing stage where a BBC Staff Reporter (well known to you perhaps) was actually filmed crying, as she witnessed the airlifting of the world’s biggest terrorist, Yasser Arafat, from Ramallah to the hospital in France, shortly before he died.

I think the BBC should give a platform to a wider range of views; are you asking for this, or for a narrower range of views?

In reply I would firstly echo Cranmer’s earlier response, with the notable rider that the “wider range of views” you refer to should not be interpreted as an invitation for the wanton production of subversive propaganda designed to offend the history, heritage, and dignity of the British people. As soon as the BBC begins to broadcast programs whose motive is to expand the popularity of the cult of Islam within Britain, then the gloves come off, for the BBC to be knocked down for a count of nine.

I wrote earlier: "Views blatantly sympathetic to Islam and to Muslims (no matter what atrocities they perpetrate)" You replied: Can't say I've noticed this. I see nothing but hostility and condemnation for terrorists.

Joe, I can assure you, if you could watch BBC-World for any length of time, then you would be unable to respond so casually and trustingly.

Muslims who are not terrorists on the other hand deserve as much sympathy as everyone else. Love your neighbour.

No, they do NOT deserve our sympathy; but they do deserve our pity, for they are mired in a hate-mongering belief system predicated on the life of a charlatan. Sympathy means nothing unless it is earned. We have become a nation of sympathizers, without ever understanding what we are sympathizing.

As for loving my neighbour … I love my neighbour only until it becomes clear he/she belongs to a faith dedicated to the destruction of all I hold dear. Then, he/she is placed into the watch box (treat with caution) as one might instinctively do with a dangerous pet dog.

MI, your claims for christianity are a little suspect. If it was Christianity that invented freedom and human rights, why didn't we get them over a thousand years earlier? Surely it was the enlightenment …

Sorry, it was not my intention to imply Christianity invented freedom and human rights. What I meant by my earlier post was, if history can teach us anything, it is that freedom and human rights have been the childs (i.e., a consequence) of Christian society and Christian culture. There is something about Christianity (at least in its European manifestation) that has uniquely allowed, encouraged, or stimulated great humanitarian development. Under no other faith have such humanitarian developments taken place; even those of far longer heritage, such as Taoism and Buddhism. These two Asian faiths are highly evolved, and I have great admiration for both, but they never produced anything that could be considered remotely equivalent. To those of us who have read Islamic history, and who have experienced life within Islamic societies first hand, the contrast between Christianity and Islam could not be more stark. The arrival of Islam acts like a great plague; it strikes down cultures to leave the survivors of its militaristic entrance, mentally paralysed.

Furthermore, I would venture you are being a little cavalier with your comparisons. You ask … Why didn’t we get them over a thousand years earlier? My simple answer would be … Well, why didn’t we get the printing press 500 years earlier? Why didn’t we get crude oil 500 years earlier? Why didn’t we get the steam engine, 600 years earlier? Why didn’t we get a national Parliament 400 years earlier? Answer? Because we were not ready for them. All things have their time. Progress is a spider’s web of interconnectivity, chance, and luck. After its establishment, Christianity itself became a process that needed time, and the passing of generations, to play out.

And indeed arguably Islam previously had a mini enlightenment of its own with Ibn Khaldoun etc.

Tut-tut-tut … That’s a throw away line Joe, obliging me to spend time researching the facts in order to refute it. I haven’t the time just at the moment, but you have given me a mini-project to follow-up in due course. Suffice to say at this point, that whatever “mini-enlightenment” it is you are referring to, it had no lasting consequence, and hence it has no real historical importance. For the past 50 years at least, Islam has been dominated by a puritanical sect called the Wahhabi. You need to understand, Islam has no central direction (i.e., no Canterbury and no Vatican); instead it is a hotchpotch of franchises. Any idiot, once he has memorized enough of the Qu’ran, can set himself up as an Imam. It helps greatly if he can also claim he is somehow descended from the “Prophet.” One charlatan breeds thousands. There are a lot of those about. This goes some way to explaining why Muslims are frequently at each others throats.

MI, no thanks. The Cult of the Hero has been done before with bad consequences. Crusades have been done before too, and good christians are not proud of them.

Mmmm … I can see a strong, post-modernist streak in you!!! Suffice to say, history is made by heroes (great and small). Timid people who refuse to step up to the plate and be counted are just wheat, to be blown this way and that, counting for nothing, and eventually to be eaten by those who are willing to show an appetite for life.

Not proud of the Crusades? Correction … good Christians (and there aren’t that many of those) are proud of the Crusades. It is Marxists who are most ashamed of them, and their vile propaganda has infected all of us. You are a man of intelligence, but I would wager you have little real understanding of the Crusades, why they were necessary, what prompted them, and what their purpose was. Your ignorance is shared by most, as it is widespread. The denigration of the Crusades has been a deliberate and cynical act, enacted within our schools. There are books out there which would enlighten you. Perhaps you will be “man” enough to read one? I heartily recommend:

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by Robert Spencer Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc (Aug 2005) ISBN: 0895260131

It is available via Amazon and has received a high customer review mark.

Let me throw down a gauntlet to you 'joe otten'. Read that book, then come back to this Blog and tell us if you are still ashamed of the Crusades!!

8 August 2006 at 05:43  
Anonymous Rick said...

Surely it was the enlightenment … No, I doubt it was. The Enlightenment was sponsored by absolute monarchs like Friedrich der Grosse and Catherine of Russia - both of whom entertained Voltaire for one. The other products of The Enlightenment were The French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon - Hitler's predecessor as Unifier of Europe. There was no coherent body of events which could be called "The Enlightenment" - it was merely created by historians to have a juxtaposition to "The Renaissance". Methodism was as much part "of The Enlightenment" as the French Decimal Calendar.

As for crude oil - it has since its origins go back millions of years seemingly always been with us - it took us a long time to find out about it and to employ it in our everyday lives..............the same might be said of God Himself.

8 August 2006 at 06:43  
Blogger beethoven writes said...

whereever there are muslims in the world, there are problems - even at the bbc it seems.

8 August 2006 at 12:41  
Anonymous david aberdeen said...

Salutations Mr Joe Otten,
perhaps I should clarify that it is Christian organisations that are banned from acquiring national broadcasting licences in TV and analog or digital radio. This is because such broadcasting is part of the BBC remit. The fact that the DG of the BBC declares himself a Christian is obviously a different matter, though of course that did not stop him from allowing to broadcast 'Jerry Springer the opera' on the public broadcaster with the licence fee's money.

Of the top of my head I don't remember the original legislation and I'll get back to you on that one. In the meantime the legislation to read is the 1990 Broadcasting Act which makes clear the existence of those restrictions under "disqualified persons" (which includes murderers, rapists,... the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chief Rabbi, etc...). Christian organisations can broadcast over cable or satellite or attempt to obtain a local AM/FM radio licence (I know only of Premier Radio in London with a permanent one and Cross Rhythms in Stoke and Shine FM in Banbridge, County Down, with temporary ones).

My point was to question the legislation that restricts religious organisations acquiring a national radio/TV licence. Since my area of interest is Christian programming that's what I focused on.

The UK has signed international human right's conventions to say there should be no national governmental discrimination due to race, gender, language or religion. In the meantime, current law perpetuates it. The BBC does what it considers appropriate religious broadcasting whilst religious organisations are restricted. Christian and other religious broadcasters already have to operate under the Broadcasting Act's provisions that would prevent unfit persons, cults and those who prey on the weak and the vulnerable from applying for licences, so why keep the restrictions?

Frankly I would just like the freedom to listen to a Christian radio in the car and don't understand why Christian broadcasters are restricted in what is supposed to be a liberal democracy. In the meantime I thank God for podcasting!

8 August 2006 at 14:25  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr TheInjuredCyclist,

You are very welcome to Cranmer's blog. Thank you for concise summary of the situation...

Mr Mission Impossible,

There is absolutely no need to apologise for your thesis. Cranmer welcomes and encourages all contributions. The only prerequisite is that they be intelligent and erudite. Yours invariably are, and your latest has supplanted Mr Croydonian's as the most intelligent and erudite contribution Cranmer has had the pleasure of reading.

Mr Tom Tyler,

His Grace is pleased you have found his blessed blog. Feel free to contribute - intelligently and eruditely, of course.

Mr Brituncula,

Welcome to you also... ditto the above.

Mr David Aberdeen,

You are quite right to point out the differential that exists between the broadcasting rights of all faiths, and the discriminations maintained against Christianity. It is a bizarre state of affairs which the next Conservative government has pledged to address (or rather, that was its position last year, so its present policy, as with everything else, is a mystery).

It is also an issue of funding. Under the present Ofcom Broadcasting Code, many religious groups are deemed 'unfit' to hold many types of broadcasting licences. The Government is presently consulting on plans to permit TV programmes to appeal for donations to help fund religious programmes and services. If this is successful, the discrimination against Christian groups will be impossible to maintain.

8 August 2006 at 14:38  
Blogger Croydonian said...

With regard to Christian radio broadcasting, I would draw His Grace's attention to complaints made against Premier by the Mysticism and Occult Federation. There are quite a few to be found here .

Here's an example of one that was upheld:

Premier Christian Radio (Greater London)
Friday 13 July 2001, 0600
Quarterly Programming Bulletin - All Complaints - Quarter 43
The Mysticism and Occult Federation complained the broadcast was "offensive comment to Christian homosexuals and a many other people." They complained about two statements by the speaker, Michael Yusef that (1) 'the liberal church teaches the crazy idea that you can be a good Christian and a practising homosexual' which they found "highly offensive to many..including homosexuals and 'liberal' Christians; and (2) 'there can be no healing outside Christ' which they found "offensive to healers of other faiths."
The Broadcasting Act 1990 (Section 90(2)(c)) requires the Authority to do all that it can to ensure "that due responsibility is exercised with respect to the content of any of its programmes which are religious programmes, and that in particular any such programmes do not involve: ..any abusive treatment of the religious views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination." Rule 7.7 of the Radio Authority's Programme Code, Religious Abuse, says "Theological debate and disagreement may occur within religious programmes; however, programmes and/or follow-up material must not be used to denigrate or attack the beliefs of other people."

The M&OF has lodged a lot of complaints, and it would seem clear that they are waiting to be offended.

8 August 2006 at 14:54  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Croydonian,

Thank you for that.

His Grace is fully aware of the sensitivites that have surround the output of Premier Radio. He himself caused a bit of a stink when he was interviewed by them some years ago. We are in an age where the mere accusation of 'offence caused' in religious realms has to be upheld because not to do so would be judged discriminatory.

Depressing indeed, but it is not so different from the situation I myself once faced.

8 August 2006 at 15:10  
Anonymous Rick said...

The fact that the DG of the BBC declares himself a Christian

He actually declares himself a Roman Catholic on the basis of attendance at Ampleforth...........which i suppose approximates to the same thing

8 August 2006 at 16:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ampleforth, eh?

I wonder if he was a 'victim' too?,,1646345,00.html

Might explain a few things about him.........

8 August 2006 at 17:05  
Blogger Thomas Fuller said...

Yes, but the Chairman is Jewish, which is a bit of puzzle given the BBC's line on Palestine and all things Muslim. I'm not sure if the religion of those in charge has any bearing on the BBC's output.

Your Grace, this blog keeps getting better! (He said, crawlingly.) It is very interesting indeed and (he added, even more sycophantically) is attracting, as Your Grace requires, persons of intelligence and erudition (among whom, naturally, in the foremost rank, I number myself). But I think we need more jokes.

8 August 2006 at 17:17  
Blogger Cranmer said...

But I think we need more jokes.

His Grace is appreciative of your kind comments, and is by no means averse to expressions of humour, indeed, his last posting on Madonna was an attempt at such, but so incurred the wrath of some of the more serious and erudite contributors that His Grace is loath to hastily repeat the exploit.

In addition, when Mr Colin made a most convivial attempt at humour, in suggesting to His Grace a certain signature, Mr Mission Impossible so chewed at his ankles that Mr Colin felt obliged to profusely apologise.

So 'jokes', in the vernacular sense, possibly not, but humour, not quite in the sense of Galen's theory, yes indeed, provided, as ever, that the witticisms and jests are intelligent and erudite.

And Anonymous,

Please stop posting anonymously, as one is not inclined to respond. Your last contribution was actually quite interesting, but His Grace has a strict policy of not responding to anonymice. So please call yourself something, though 'Colin' is now spoken for.

8 August 2006 at 17:37  
Anonymous Rick said...

Yes, but the Chairman is Jewish, which is a bit of puzzle given the BBC's line on Palestine and all things Muslim.

You mean Michael Grade........well.......a) I should think he is secular b) there are many Jews who dislike/loathe Israel since there is in fact a diversity of opinion among Jews rather than a stereotypical uniformity of outlook which the Media insists every "community" must have

8 August 2006 at 17:44  
Blogger Opinionated Youth said...

rick...we have so many people converting to Islam and they are doing this with the knowledge that reverting back to another faith would be met with death! surely that shows their commitment to Islam

8 August 2006 at 17:48  
Anonymous Colin said...

Opinionated Youth - I think that, whilst not wishing to downplay conviction to religious principles and practices, people who convert to Islam in the West may have more subtle influences which contribute to their choice to do so. In Western society everything has become so homogenized - people by and large dress the same, speak the same, listen to the same music, and so on. Perhaps in a quest for some sort of individuality people are drawn to a minority religion, such as Islam is in the West, so that they can feel distinct from the rest of their peers. Also they can do this in relative safety, as I imagine the death penalty is much harder to enforce in the West where sharia law is not the norm.

8 August 2006 at 18:13  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Those hoping to tickle our ribs with mirth, how about prefixing the post with a symbol? A smiley for example? :-) :->

If Mr. Colin's sense of humour is as obtuse as I suspect, I will certainly appreciate it. But introducing veiled mirth in the midst of "the heavy stuff" is probably best done with some caution ... except when you have already featured yourself in the discussion thread.

8 August 2006 at 18:24  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

opinionated youth ... during the 1960s, it was fashionable for the youth of that day to carry around copies of Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book." I interpret your we have so many people converting to Islam statement with this hindsight in mind.

There will be no deaths. This is an empty threat. The world already has many ex-Islamic apostates, and they are living far happier lives now than they did whilst trapped in their former mental prisons.

If you have chosen to be a stooge for, and a second class citizen to Arabs then you are demonstrating a level of irresponsible foolishness that beggers belief.

8 August 2006 at 18:34  
Blogger Opinionated Youth said...

colin, you say they would convert to a minority religion to break the conformity trend in western society then can u please explain why they dont choose a minority religion like Sikhism? or any other minority religion, and surely the numbers of all minority religions would increase if what you are saying was the case?

8 August 2006 at 18:48  
Anonymous Colin said...

I was making the point that the decision to join a particular religion may be more complex than first appears. People may be attracted by the philosopy or spirituality, but that does not mean that more mundane psychological influences do not make their mark upon the choice. As for why Islam and not Sikhism - as far as I can see we are living in an age of extremism - in religion, in politics and in many other facets of everyday life. Perhaps Islam is growing more because it is seen as more extreme and therefore more challenging. I would wager that if a survey of a random sampling of 100 people were taken and the question put to them was - Which do you see as the more extreme religion, Islam or Sikhism? - I would be quite certain that Islam would win by an overwhelming majority. Whether that opinion of Islam is right or worng is perhaps debatable, but it exists nonetheless.

8 August 2006 at 19:00  
Blogger Croydonian said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8 August 2006 at 19:11  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Many, many years ago a divinity teacher at my alma mater suggested that if we really wanted to upset our parents nothing was more certain to irk them than to take whatever they believed and go a few steps further. I could suggest Pentecostalism for middle of the road Anglicans, joining the Lubavitch if one's parents were lip-service Jews etc etc. If he is still making the same declaration, I would imagine he would recommend Islam for all those without an Islamic background.

As to OY's point about Sikhism etc, the religions of South and Eastern Asia do not proselytise in anything like the same way as Islam and Christianity, and as non-monotheistic faiths are considerably harder for Westerners to adapt their mindsets to. That said, many of us will recall the 70s Buddhist 'craze' in the West and Le Figaro has recently reported that some 5 million French people claim to 'feel close to Buddhism'.

(Typo corrected)

8 August 2006 at 19:25  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Thankyou all for the many responses.

MI, you talk about Wahabbism and Islamic societies. But not all Islamic societies are Wahabbist. Notably Saudi Arabia is, and Saudi Arabia spends a great deal of money funding schools and mosques all over the world. But in many if not most muslim socieites the Wahabbis are fringe nutcases. Eg polls in France show a (bare) majority of French Muslims *supporting* the ban on religious attire in schools.

That Islam isn't true doesn't justify a monolithic view of Muslim people. Sheffield Wednesday are rubbish, but some of their fans are good eggs.


Sorry, I'm not going to read your book on the Crusades. Slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Muslims, Jews and other Christians is evil, and there is no getting away from it. Nor is it possible to reconcile with loving your neighbour and turning the other cheek. (Not that I personally agree with the degree of pacifism that Jesus appears to demand.)

Quite why Marxists would be ashamed of them is a mystery. They have plenty of their own acts to be ashamed of instead.


But of course there are lots of things that have happened post-enlightenment, it is virtually impossible to unpick the effects of all the forces at work. I would certainly give the Reformation some credit. But I don't think we can safely associate Christianity with all the things that went right and with none of the things that went wrong.

8 August 2006 at 21:21  
Blogger Joe Otten said...


On the enlightenment. See above. In the days of absolute monarchy, you should expect to find absolute monarchs on both sides of many questions, except perhaps republicanism.

Of course the label comes from historians, where else would it come from?

So I don't really see your objection, apart from the implied slur against Voltaire. The only Voltaire I have read is Candide, a fanstastic pastiche of Liebniz's "solution" to the Problem of Evil. I can discuss that if anybody wishes.

But you are hinting that we may only have found out about God recently. How is this squared with Jesus presence rather a long time ago. Or have I misunderstood you?

8 August 2006 at 21:29  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

David Aberdeen and Cranmer, on religious broadcasting.

OK I understand that Christian organisations are restricted. But as I understand it all religious organisations are similarly restericted. So I don't see how this is discrimination against Christianity.

Are you asking for religions in general to be allowed these licenses, or just Christianity? And just the true Christianity which you believe and which most so-called Christians don't seem to know much about?

I think I see a problem. If you justify Christianity's unique rights by the largely christian population, that would seem to justify only programming for the kind of christianity that the population largely believes in. I.e. what the BBC largely does already and commenters on this blog have been complaining about.

I don't see any justification for the state legislating differently for different religions. I don't think the state is competent to decide on questions of religious doctrine - which is what special priviledges for "true" christianity would require.

Worse, if similar privileges are given to "all religions", we have the insoluble thorny question of what counts as a religion and what doesn't. Bahai? Scientology? Jedi? Wicca? Humanism? Non-theistic Buddhism?

So to summarize, I don't see how the current situation as I understand it discriminates. And I don't see how it could be changed without bringing in either more discrimination, or Scientology TV. (And yes, I know that Scientology is a scam invented by L Ron Hubbard, about all your problems being due to the souls of dead space aliens inhabiting your body, and that you can be cured by paying a great deal of money for brainwashing.)

8 August 2006 at 21:48  
Anonymous david aberdeen said...

Greetings again Mr Joe Otten,

I woke up and decided to do some mid-night reading:

"I don't see any justification for the state legislating differently for different religions. I don't think the state is competent to decide on questions of religious doctrine..."


I am perfectly happy for religious organisations from different faith groups to acquire licences, to say otherwise would be discriminatory. Frankly I'm sufficiently confident in my beliefs not to be worried by that. I repeat that I do not understand why religious groups need to be restricted at all (the fact that all are discriminated against doesn't make it any better) and I don't understand why we need to go into what is a religion or what it's beliefs are, since for these purposes I don't believe that is the government's place. Though of course, Tony Blair keeps telling us certain ideas are not part of true islam...

9 August 2006 at 02:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i too am rather upset at that use of the licence fee - yet more money wasted on religious clap-trap. still, it seems to have stirred up you lot so i guess it wasn't a total waste of time.

9 August 2006 at 03:17  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

joe otten ... you pontificate endlessly about topics you have limited experience of, and only a veneer of an understanding about. That has come through loud and clear in many of your comments. The first para. of your 9:21pm post (on Wahabism) was a classic example of confused thinking, posing as knowledge.

When someone offers you a high quality book that would enlighten you, and increase your depth of understanding on a critical issue, you arrogantly dismiss it (implying you know all you need to know already). You don't even offer to read an alternative.

I must conclude you are simply not worth debating with; preferring instead to live in your own little world.

9 August 2006 at 05:19  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

opinionated youth ... religions such as Sikiism are closely tied to ethnic identity. Judaism is another religion that is ethnically bound. Entering either, as an outsider, is not impossible, but extremely difficult, as you will be faced with many challenges and rituals designed to test your sincerity.

Similarly, to become a true Buddhist, one just doesn't pick up a book at WH Smiths, and familiarize oneself with the teachings of the Buddha. If one is not born with a Buddhist nationality, one has to attend a Monastery for perhaps 3 months, perhaps a year. It is a rigorous test of will.

Islam is by a long chalk, is the easiest "faith" to enter (which reinforces the fact it is not a religion but a Cult). You simply recite its 10 worded declaration of faith (in Arabic) in the presence of an Immam. Easy to make the error of a lifetime once you've had a few beers, or alternatively, been seduced by the (false) friendship of another Muslim.

Small acts can have big and long-lasting consequences, so be very careful. You can drink the same beer and get a young lady you've just met pregnant, giving yourself (and she) a lifetime of responsibility.

Moral of the story? Always live in the present and never lose your head. [Mmmm ... there's a pun or two in there somewhere :-) ]

9 August 2006 at 05:37  
Blogger Professor D.C. Warmington said...

Dear Mr Impossible

You say "You can drink the same beer and get a young lady you've just met pregnant, giving yourself (and she) a lifetime of responsibility."

Since this is a forum of intelligence and erudition, may I respectfully point out the self-contradiction in your statement? If she were a young lady the regrettable consequences you adumbrate would be unlikely, for she would not yield her person so readily; but instead would make detailed inquiries into your financial status, and proceed with a courtship only if satisfied as to the health thereof.

Which puts one in mind of a saying of that late and much lamented philosopher, Mr Robert Monkhouse, who averred that the old-fashioned modes of courtship, engagement and matrimony were too time-consuming for a modern age. He advised any young fellow simply to go out and "find a woman you don't like and give her your house".

I am, sir, and propose to remain,

Yours truly

A. de T.

9 August 2006 at 09:38  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

May I point out a further contradiction:

"You can drink the same beer and get a young lady you've just met pregnant"

I don't know about you, but I find performing the former tends to render the latter less likely.

9 August 2006 at 10:10  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

David Aberdeen, I am so glad we agree on the competence of the state.

So we must also agree that there should be no compulsory worship in state schools.

And RE, if there is any, could be part of history, or sociology.

9 August 2006 at 10:30  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

A. de T.
I can see the logic in your flaw ... ehem ... excuse me ... I cannot see a flaw in your logic.

Yes, indeed, the much lamented Bob Monkhouse.

9 August 2006 at 11:08  
Anonymous view from the solent said...

Your Grace,
I have, since I discovered your establishment, been a regular visitor. Both to learn your views on topics which you deem worthy of comment, and, especially, for the reasoned and erudite discussion which typically follows.

I have remained only an observer. Despite the apparent counter-example presented by your forum, I cannot conceive of an existence for me after my corporeal substance has ceased to function. (The result of which is that I shall never discover if my assumption is correct; I can only find out if I have been mistaken. But life is full of such trials.) As such, I have always considered that it would be impolite of me to make my presence visible.

In this instance, I have broken my self-imposed rule. I have followed the above discussion with much interest, and I wish to express my thanks to you for bringing it into existence.
I hope (but not pray) that you do not regard my presence as trespassing. But even if you do, I trust that you will forgive me.

9 August 2006 at 11:40  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr View from the Solent,

His Grace is by no means offended by your etheral presence, and even less by your occasional corporeal interjections. You are therefore more than welcome.

However, one's time on earth is indeed but a fleeting moment, and an eternity most assuredly awaits you in another place. It is therefore not the forgiveness of His Grace that should be sought, but that of Almighty God, who also maintains an etheral presence on the blessed blog of intelligent erudition. Hopefully the two of you will meet soon.

9 August 2006 at 11:48  
Anonymous Rick said...

So we must also agree that there should be no compulsory worship in state schools.

Joe Otten...........there should be NO "State Schools"

9 August 2006 at 18:54  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Now now Rick, the Dark Ages weren't all roses.

10 August 2006 at 09:46  
Anonymous Rick said...

Joe, State education was a component of "enlightened" Prussia under Frederick the Great to produce his militarised society.

It has since become an Ideological State Apparatus to inculcate gramscian ideology into the curriculum and to create fodder for dictatorships.

The State is the fount of modern evil

10 August 2006 at 11:30  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

But Rick, there were dictatorships long before there was state education.

It seems to me that democracy and human rights largely depend in practice on a high degree of literacy and therefore on universal education. There is no other institution willing and rich enough to provide universal education.

10 August 2006 at 12:23  
Anonymous hovis said...

Joe O: Yes of course dictatorship pre dates state education.

All societies repressive or not rely on their cultural rationale being transmitted forward. That state education is the modern conduit for the transmission of such bile and untruth is the bugbear.

Let a thousand flowers bloom ...

As for democracy requiring universal education, true. but universal education is not the same thing as state education. The latter is producing large numbers of functionally illiterate people - detrimental to the functioning of democracy as you rightly point out..

It appears you are wedded to received wisdom and so confuse the two concepts.

10 August 2006 at 16:33  
Anonymous Vikki said...

It's all very well to talk! This has gone beyond talking it's time to act! This is a Christian Nation period!!! Who is ready to stand and be counted......

10 August 2006 at 18:34  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Wot no Mr. Al-Amin on this thread? No doubt one of his "attacks" is "imminent"....

10 August 2006 at 21:16  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr GC,

Mr Al-Amin departed some time ago. He has been missed. A few others passed by, but they left for Pakistan (really).

A Mr Amo also appeared a few weeks ago. He was more intelligent, if slighly lacking erudition.

His Grace awaits the next visitation of the Mohammedans.

10 August 2006 at 21:21  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Cranmer said...
"...His Grace awaits the next visitation of the Mohammedans"

With bated breath, I'm sure....
Mr. Al-Amin's ( enforced or otherwise)"absence" is particularly intriguing.One fears the worst....

10 August 2006 at 22:30  
Anonymous Rick said...

There is no other institution willing and rich enough to provide universal education.

The State does not run newspapers or publishing houses or telephones any longer. It no longer licenses printing presses. It does not censor books from the Lord Chamberlain's Department.

William Shakespeare went to a Grammar School independent of The State as did Isaac Newton.............we have no need of a Secretary of State for Education - Germany doesn't have one.

So long as you have National Examination Boards as in the 1970s independent of Government and with a very high standard - you can have diversity rather than State homogenised
League Table "Education" producing innumerate, illiterate and fundamentally ignorant pupils with worthless credentials

11 August 2006 at 07:45  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Rick, Hovis,

Let a thousand flowers bloom by all means. But who do you claim is being prevented from opening and running schools? Any Tom Dick or Harry with £2million these days can have their own school, with the taxpayer putting in another £20million no questions asked, and paying ALL the running costs.

Who else is willing to fund and run universal education? If you can't answer that then all you are doing is grumbling.


Exactly what bile and untruth are you accusing state schools of transmitting forward?

11 August 2006 at 09:40  
Anonymous Rick said...

Actually Church Schools fund 20% which is provided by government soft-loans.

I think State Education lacks Discipline because it operates a 98.6 rule.

I think the 1944 Education Act is not being adhered to.

I think proper structured lessons should be taught in place of blended mishmash. Religion should be taught in accordance with professed Faith.

Physics should be a core subject. Mathematics too. Examinations should be competitive with failure rates.

Sports should be competitive and properly resourced.

In short, there should be Structure, Discipline, Focus in schools instead of the meandering and foggy approach currently displayed. When the Independent Sector produces most Physics and Chemistry and Medicine undergraduates something is clearly wrong with State Schools.

11 August 2006 at 12:08  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Rick, the £2m/£20m figure is based on the city academy programme.

You talk about how you think schools could be better, but you don't answer the question. Who is going to fund them?

Discipline is a problem in many state schools, but not all. Largely it is a problem because they are the schools who take the problematic children. Faith and Independent schools turn them away. If faith schools really have this unique understanding of proper discipline, they should seek out problem children and put them right. Why do you think they don't?

Much the same goes for academic standards. The quality of the intake has far more impact than the quality of the teaching.

11 August 2006 at 13:44  
Anonymous Amo said...

I did not see Part1 but I shall try to see Part2 on Sunday. I shall not comment until I have seen it, which is the right thing to do.

11 August 2006 at 14:21  
Anonymous Rick said...

Good for you. I would not trust the BBC on anything - then again the Church of England preaches debased Christianity vastly deviant from the Religion of Christ. The BBC is discredited and debased

11 August 2006 at 16:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick - there were National Examination Boards long before the 1970s. Does this debate really have to be tarnished by yet another flight of fancy into that strife ridden decade, rewritten as a carefree continuation of the so-called "Swinging 60s"?

The BBC did a pretty biased (not to mention highly inaccurate) job of looking at that decade in "I Love 1970s"...

Enough, please!

I find the BBC frightening in so many ways. But I find my faith is growing daily.

12 August 2006 at 15:21  
Anonymous Rick said...

there were National Examination Boards long before the 1970s.

I know - I was taking the very last point in time before the rot had destroyed the supporting structure. I have no love for the 1970s - but could never have imagined how golden they would appear when set against modern debased quality

12 August 2006 at 19:03  
Anonymous Rick said...

How very funny.............she should say this.......,,1843598,00.html

13 August 2006 at 07:20  

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