Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brown’s ‘moral vision’ to awaken the ‘conscience of the world’

It is ironic that the week during which Gordon Brown has legislated for animal/hybrid embryos, saviour siblings, 24-week abortion, and the eradication of fatherhood, that he should have prefaced this perverse amoral agenda with a speech in which he outlined his ‘moral vision’.

It was delivered to the Church of Scotland General Assembly, and he talked much of his Scottish Presbyterian upbringing in a Kirkcaldy parish manse, and assured the assembled faithful that he was still anchored firmly to his father’s ministry. The speech was made exactly 20 years after Margaret Thatcher gave her "Sermon on the Mound" at the same venue, in which she expounded the theological basis for her free-market thinking.

But the Prime Minister’s speech was nowhere near as politically honest, as spiritually insightful or as theologically well-informed as that given by Mrs Thatcher. Consider:

And amidst all the challenges and headlines of recent months I have learned what really matters: that, for me, a life is best measured not by what office or title you hold but by what difference you can make by seeking to do what you judge the right thing…

So why did Gordon Brown spend most of the past decade lusting for prime ministerial office?

I am not here to presume a distinctive interpretation to scripture. Instead I stand before you today to affirm my personal commitment to the Church's enduring vision of the good society - the good society of compassion and justice that today is needed more than ever, at home in our own country and abroad in our world.

His ‘vision of the good’ presupposes a most distinctive interpretation of Scripture. It is one in which the ‘collectivism’ and ‘common ownership’ of Christian Socialism have been replaced by ‘community’ and ‘tolerance’, but his distinctive interpretation of Scripture is Socialist to the core.

As a son and now a father I believe in the Parable of the Talents my father taught me:
• that everyone has a talent,
• everyone should have the chance to develop that talent,
• and everyone should be challenged to use that talent and given the best chance to bridge that gap between what they are and what they have it in themselves to become.

It is just a pity that his father never told him that a ‘talent’ is money: it is, in fact, a small fortune – about 3,000 shekels. And manifestly not everyone possesses a talent, but, as he observes, those who do ‘have the chance to develop’ it – ie, make it grow. The parable is in fact concerned with extracting interest payments from the poor, social justice and financial responsibility.

And we find that from the timeless wisdom of all the great religions - from which billions across the world derive daily inspiration - there is a consistent ethical core that propels us to act: encapsulated in the golden rule that informs not just Christianity and Judaism but also Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam - showing that we are not moral strangers but there is a shared moral sense common to us all:
• that we are our brother's keeper;
• that we should do unto others as we would have them do to us;
• the enduring summons to justice that echoes down the ages ---- our belief deep down that when some are poor all of us are impoverished, when even a few are not free none of us can be fully free, when others are weakened in spirit and hope no one can boast our society is truly strong.

While it is undoubted true the world’s ‘great religions’ have much in common, there is, in fact, no Golden Rule in Islam at all. He appears to have read the same bowdlerised Penguin edition of the Qur’an as Mr & Mrs Blair.

And what I want to argue is that the joining of these two forces - the information revolution and the human urge to co-operate for justice - makes possible for the first time in history something we have only dreamt about: the creation of a truly global society. A global society where people anywhere and everywhere can discover their shared values, communicate with each other and do not need to meet or live next door to each other to join together with people in other countries in a single moral universe to bring about change. And the truth is that linked across oceans and miles, a chorus of countless voices - inspired by the strength of shared values - can now touch and move the conscience of the world.

And here we have his vision for a ‘New World Order’ – a global society with a global government concerned with global issues and founded on ‘a single moral universe’. And in accordance with the new global spirituality, Mr Brown desires:

conscience linked to conscience - people with a shared moral sense and a capacity to communicate and organize; and the power that comes from calling, networking, marching for change, millions can now be moved to action - as with Make Poverty History - against the great injustices of poverty, disease and environmental degradation.

He wants to

turn moral values into common action and shared vision into a global reality: to 'undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free'.

And he continues with his messianic vision when he observes:

Acting together, the first generation in the history of mankind to abolish illiteracy and give every child the right to education; acting together, the first generation to eradicate tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, malaria, on the way to eradicating HIV/Aids. And to honour the dream of the scriptures: that justice will roll like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.

One almost expects him to roll up his scroll and announce that today this scripture is fulfilled in our hearing.

Rather like the recent speech given by his immediate predecessor Mr Blair (in Westminster Cathedral), who also spoke of his desire to 'awaken the conscience of the world', there were no references to Jesus, no mention of God, and scant references to Scripture.

The speech by Mrs Thatcher in 1988 was replete with all three.


Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace is often somewhat unworldly. If he considers Gordon Brown, Wendy & Douglas Alexander, were all children of Church of Scotland Ministers he can reflect on the priggish certitude derived from such upbringing particularly when Alexander-mere was a doctor, and Brown-mere was a rentier living off a passive directorship of a family business.

This coupled with the inherent arrogance of University Socialism as a "scientific Religion" gained by extensive use of Marxian opiates; one can see why their moral universe is not universalisable in a Kantian sense but largely Existentialist in a Satrean sense

21 May 2008 at 08:58  
Blogger Eric Rasmusen said...

How funny! Brown alludes to the Parable of the Talents, the most Thatcherite passage in the Bible:

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

21 May 2008 at 09:47  
Anonymous Jonny Mac said...

"there is, in fact, no Golden Rule in Islam at all"

Your Grace, that's very interesting if true. I had always understood the opposite to be the case. I recognise that it is difficult to prove a negative, but do you have any relevant links or other material?

21 May 2008 at 10:16  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Jonny Mac,

Whilst you are correct that establishing a negative is difficult, the message of the Qur'an is not one of loving one's neighbour (who is, in the Christian sense, everyone), but of loving other Muslims (the ummah) and subjecting the non-believer (kuffar) to a lower status than those who worship Allah. There is no equality between the genders or between different faiths and therefore no acknowledgement of a common humanity. There is certainly no exhortation to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, not least because Islam will not tolerate having done unto itself that which it inflicts upon those who are not in submission.

21 May 2008 at 10:23  
Blogger KGS said...

His Grace is once more "spot on".

THe Golden Rule: treat others as you would be treated, is glaringly absent from Islam.

So when Muslims claim in open discourse that "Islam is a religion of peace", or that "Islam is against the harming of innocents"....they are only talking about relations within Islam itself...not with the non-Muslim.

21 May 2008 at 11:50  
Blogger dmk said...

The other missing piece in Browns exposition of the parable of the talents is the reality of God's judgement. Blair at least recognised that God would hold him accountable. Brown does not. Having been entrusted with a small fortune (10 talents?) as Chancellor and now as PM, Brown is accountable.

All the talk about justice means nothing without a judge, and a moral law against which our attempts at justice are measured. Without this, justice becomes what suits us at the time.

21 May 2008 at 12:06  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Just like that, Gordon Brown has created a new form of islam and annexed the world.

21 May 2008 at 13:03  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"Rather like the recent speech given by his immediate predecessor Mr Blair (in Westminster Cathedral), who also spoke of his desire to 'awaken the conscience of the world', there were no references to Jesus, no mention of God, and scant references to Scripture."

Indeed Cranmer, this wasn't a Christian speech at all. Gordon Brown, by seeking to divine the shared ethical core of "all religions" believes he has created a fairly plain and innocuous moral prescription that could no more be rejected then you could reject your own religion. Therein lies what I called the 'annexation'.

This is an imperial creed that says it is the culmination of all world religions and cannot be authentically rejected. Don't you think that's a bit strange? It puts itself higher then Christianity, higher then all religions..

Didn't Gordon Brown ban his cabinet from saying things like "Islamofascism"? Such is a hint of the violence that awaits those who reject, or in anyway call into the question the truth of these "Shared Values".

Revelation 13:11

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Good commentary on Reveltion 13 here.

21 May 2008 at 13:43  
Anonymous najistani said...

More info on the absence of the Golden Rule in Islam:

Gordon Clown is talking through his nether orifice (so what's new?)

21 May 2008 at 14:13  
Blogger Jomo said...

The letter from Professor Haldane in todays Telegraph goes some way to puncture Brown's moral posturing.

Perhaps St Andrews is at last awakening from its slumber.

Brown is, and always has been, a member of the Scottish elite.He wants power and now he has it he doesn't know what to do with it. His empty sermonising reflects his need to justify himself to the only supporters he has left.

Sadly Mr Cameron appears from his votes on the Embryology Bill to share some of the same moral confusion displayed by Brown and Blair over the last eleven years.

It is hard to see what hope there is for the future of the Country.

21 May 2008 at 19:44  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

" ... establishing a negative is difficult ... "

Your Grace: proving a negative is a logical impossibility. However, a negative can be validly inferred from observation ... but that always leaves the negative open to invalidation in light of further observation.

I am not actually a logician, but did study the subject at postgraduate level (if that means anything after all these years)

21 May 2008 at 22:08  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
ian duncan smith did rather make the point that a lot of labour mps abstained or voted against , so there was party politics in evidence . How nice it was to hear such passioned speeches (somthing missing for some time) particulary from the DUP lady.

however to gordons speech "the information revolution and the human urge to co operate for justice"

this whole paragraph is rather scary , i could see hitler saying somthing similar in 1938 berlin torch parade night.

are we to understand living next door to each other is less important than e mailing someone thousands of miles away. perhaps societys breakdown is due to this flawed vision.
power is not the same as christ centerd wisdom , and that is what is so scary about this speech .

new world order : would christ politely clap as his goose steeping devotees file past on his second comming . "a single moral universe" , that looks like the utterances of a madman worthy of james bond story .

i fear cramner that these words do not illuminate the christ , quite scary from where i sit

21 May 2008 at 22:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,
May I humbly draw your communicants' attention to Gordon Brown's most recent posting on YouTube.

21 May 2008 at 23:24  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

The Global elite are hoping to have a single worls religion.

22 May 2008 at 23:39  
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