Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday: marginalisation, persecution, martyrdom

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand (Jn 19:41f).
The Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, the hope of Israel, the long-promised Saviour is dead. He lies lifeless in a tomb. For most Christians, after the intensity of the Last Supper and the Passion, this is usually a low-key day of quiet expectation and preparation for tomorrow. For Lord Carey, it is a day to talk about the marginalisation of Christians in the UK. 

Lord Carey may have a point about 'aggressive secularism', but the Paschal Triduum is not the time.

Holy Saturday is a much misunderstood day, seemingly of no great spiritual significance. Jesus is buried: we are left wondering and waiting. But for the Lord, it was the day he descended to Hades and conquered eternal death.

Most of the Church has forgotten the Harrowing of Hell. Those who remember tend to half apologise for it. Certainly, ‘hell’ is not a helpful translation: Jesus was in Hades (ᾍδης) or Sheol (שאול) – a place of peace for some and torment for others. Following the trauma of the crucifixion, Mary was distraught, the disciples were weeping, Judas was hanging, and the Romans, Pharisees and Saducees were rejoicing. But Jesus was descending to the place of departed spirits to preach the Good News and liberate the captives.

The Apostles’ Creed says so (‘He descended into hell’ [BCP]); Aquinas affirms this in the Summa (IIIa, q52). The idea is found in some of the earliest writings of the Church Father: Irenaeus, in his tract Contra Haereses (5,31,2) says the Lord ‘tarried until the third day “in the lower parts of the earth” (Eph 4:9)...where the souls of the dead were...’. And Tertullian, in A Treatise on the Soul (60), wrote: ‘With the same law of His being He fully complied, by remaining in Hades in the form and condition of a dead man; nor did He ascend into the heights of heaven before descending into the lower parts of the earth, that He might there make the patriarchs and prophets partakers of Himself.’

The event is referred or alluded to numerous times in Scripture (Acts 2:31; Eph 4:8-10; 1Pt 3:18-20), and many consider the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) relevant, and also Jesus’ statement to the thief on the cross – ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’ (Lk 23:42f).

Here is not the place to discuss the diverse interpretations of these scriptures and expositions: it is not news that Christians disagree, not least on the soteriological implications of a ‘second chance’ of repentance after death. Whether or not this was the point of salvation for Adam and Eve, Noah, David... cannot be known this side of Glory. What we do know is that the Lord wants all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4): He wants all to see his image, repent of their sin, take on his likeness, be pure, holy, perfect. He wants everyone to know Him and to love more.

On this Holy Saturday, the final day of Lent, let our faith be made stronger; let us be more assured that sin and death are conquered; let us know a little more of the light through the sometimes impenetrable shadows. Whether the Harrowing of Hell is literal or figurative, corporeal or spiritual, it has a message for all of us today: the highest response to evil is to free people from it. Let us rejoice that our Redeemer lives.

And let us also remember that while we may occasionally feel 'marginalised', there are Christians in other countries - our brothers and sisters - who are being harassed, persecuted, tortured and murdered for their faith. Look HERE, HERE, HERE or HERE if you want to know what real persecution looks like. David Cameron may be 'feeding Christian anxieties', but Jesus didn't promise us a rose garden:
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me (John 15:18-21)
Jesus went to hell and back. Christians are being persecuted or slaughtered across Asia, Africa, and the Greater Middle East. Surely we can put up with a bit of 'marginalisation'.

459 Comments:

Blogger Humble Queen said...

Is it only marginalization or complete destruction of the family?

Http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/glf-london.asp

Http://www.politicalaffairs.net/a-draft-of-an-article-on-the-communist-movement-and-gay-liberation-part-1-by-norman-markowitz-2/

30 March 2013 09:57  
Blogger Flossie said...

I think the Triduum is exactly the right time. Bravo, Lord Carey! Aggressive secularists are echoing the events which took Jesus to the cross. It may not be that serious in the West just yet, but silence gives tacit permission for persecution. Critics of the Christian Legal Centre, for example, ridicule them for taking on cases which they will probably not win, but if they don't take on these cases the current low level of persecution will increase and become more serious. My granny used to say that people are treated in the manner in which they allow themselves to be.

There was an excellent article by Robin Harris in this month's Standpoint Magazine on persecution of Christians in the East. The West is turning a blind eye, and can only expect similar treatment for ourselves in due course because we - a supposedly Christian country - have failed to stand up for them. Here is a clip from the article:

As for Britain, the hypocrisy is even more revolting. The Coalition government insists on prioritising overseas aid, even at the expense of the defence budget. David Cameron takes a special interest. He has publicly threatened to cut aid to countries that oppress homosexuals. But he won't consider applying that threat to countries that persecute Christians. Indeed, the sum total of Britain's action to protect Christianity from extinction in the Middle East is a list of low-level, low-key initiatives, undertaken by junior ministers or unimportant officials, which (as Mrs Thatcher used to say) "wouldn't knock the skin off a rice pudding".

But does it matter? If you really believe that systematic persecution is wrong, it does. But who in the upper reaches of Western governments really believes that today? And, naturally, the notion that Christian countries should protect Christians is so preposterously incorrect that no modern politician would suggest it. But there is one argument, which even the most hardened critic of morally driven foreign policy should consider.

In majority-Muslim countries where non-Muslim minorities are openly persecuted, radical Islam grows, and that is a threat. The threat is levelled initially at secular governments that do not conform to the purists' idea of Islamist doctrine. But when these governments bend or fall, they or their successors become enemies of the West. Meanwhile, within their borders both local and imported terrorism take root. That process is now advancing in different forms throughout the Arab world. It occurs partly because of the nature of Islam and its failed engagement with modernity. But it happens, too, because the West no longer knows what it is, or wants, or believes, and because it is morally weak. Today's leaders adopt silence in the face of evil. And, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer observed: "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/4905/full





30 March 2013 11:28  
Blogger David B said...

Well said, Your Grace.

I deplore the persecution of Christians for their beliefs in other countries, just as I deplore the persecution of those who lack faith for their lack of faith.

It is good to see a Christian writer putting things in perspective.

David

30 March 2013 12:13  
Blogger David B said...

@Flossie

Let us not forget that in some predominantly Islamic countries it is not just non-Muslim minorities who are persecuted, but, in some bizarre (and metaphorical) echo of Christianity in Europe in past centuries, minority Muslim sects are persecuted too, and seemingly on a scale at least equal too the persecution of non-Muslims.

Religion can indeed be pernicious!

David

30 March 2013 12:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Won’t be long now before Islam starts kicking off in this country, big time, and we’ll be hearing appeals from politicians for our treasured immigrants who have done so much for this country (...or so we are continually told...), to be more ‘Christian like’. Christianity will be lauded as the religion it is, tolerant and peaceful. Cameron will be saying “I am a Christian” and the rest of the cabinet will echo the sentiment too, albeit somewhat embarrassingly.

Every third week, isn’t it. The trial of another group of home grown, Pakistan trained extremists, out to rival the London bombings. Interestingly, what is never reported is why they want to bomb the country and it’s people. One suspects the answer, if anyone actually asks them the question anymore, is “Don’t really know old chap, It’s just something we do. So very Islamic, don’t you find”

Mouse and Wheel calls...

pip pip !

30 March 2013 12:42  
Blogger William said...

David B

Religion can indeed be pernicious

Thank Christ for the Saviour who came to deliver us from all that is pernicious.

30 March 2013 12:48  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"Christianity will be lauded as the religion it is, tolerant and peaceful"
As it is in Northern Ireland.

30 March 2013 12:50  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness.

The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep ... God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve.

The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory ... saying:

“Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”.

"I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden ...

"Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven ... The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity."

(Unknown Early Church Father)

30 March 2013 12:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

While a fellow was saddling up Shank’s pony, he thought he’d stick his head round the door of the nearest place to hell on earth – Pink News readers comments, who have picked up on Carey too. You’d think we were the natural successors to the NAZI party by what those swine post. All because we object to them debasing marriage, and buggering 15 year old schoolboys.

Still, the secularists and Parliament seem to be on their side, what !


30 March 2013 12:57  
Blogger David B said...

William, there is little sign in this physical world that Christ has saved us from anything that is pernicious. And little good evidence in favour of any non-physical world.

Secular, enlightenment values on the other hand have helped a lot, insofar as in at least most of Christian Europe stopped Christians stopped persecuting Christians of different sects long ago.

The CoE did not treat George Fox very well, nor even the Wesleys despite their Anglicanism.

If Christ could influence the various Christian churches in the direction of cutting out the pernicious, do you not think that he would have made a better job of it?

David

30 March 2013 12:58  
Blogger William said...

If Christ could influence the various Christian churches in the direction of cutting out the pernicious, do you not think that he would have made a better job of it?

No. Not without removing the pernicious from the human condition.

30 March 2013 13:24  
Blogger JW said...

"Surely we can put up with a bit of marginalisation"

Perhaps, but we cannot be complacent.
The point is that persecution always begins with marginalisation. You cannot persecute any group who are at the forefront of society, popular and influential. You must first drive them to the fringes and alienate them from majority opinion.

This is what is happening now. Persecution will follow once the process of marginalisation is complete.

30 March 2013 13:49  
Blogger Flossie said...

Inspector - you really must stop visiting pornographic websites!

At the recent marriage rally in Trafalgar Square, among the gay protesters was a woman baring her breasts (in that freezing weather) with the words 'In Gay we Trust' emblazoned across her front. Let us see the outcome of trusting the Great God Gay. I think that is when we are going to see some real persecution. (And I think it will be worse than the gay activist at the rally going round with a pin popping the children's balloons!)



30 March 2013 15:11  
Blogger David B said...

OH come off it, JW.

Your namesakes, the JW's are a fringe group on the margin of society, and even they are not persecuted, though their calls annoy some people, and the way they treat those who see more sense and leave is shameful.

Even they are not persecuted in those parts of the world where secular, enlightenment values are prevalent.

Nor are Mormons, who are more of a fringe group in the UK than in the USA. Nor are Scientologists, or the Hare Krishna people, on the margins though they are.

Paranoid much?

David




30 March 2013 15:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I see Newsthump has the measure of Lord Carey today. :)

30 March 2013 15:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 March 2013 16:44  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you again, Your Grace. Your words today are scholarly and thought-provoking.

In response to the provocation - and because I respect both Your Grace and Lord Carey - I also appreciate posts from several of today's communicants. Flossie, for instance, makes good points about present-day treatment of what I dub 'The Plague of Mozzies.' Is it not ironic that our secularist masters medicate the condition by contorting yet another Christian principle: "turn the other cheek"? It does so suit their purpose that we should squabble with each other instead of fighting the Enemy.

But Lord Carey is not the Enemy, and we appreciate the significance of our Triduum more fully if, by his example, our meditation includes acknowledgement and recognition of our Real and Present Condition: vile, postmodern, post-twentieth century wars. Maybe the sickness even manifests a form of mass PTSD.

In ways such as those YG enumerates, the aetiology of that condition is what it ever was: for we are of a Shower that Fell-- from Heaven to the Gates of Lethe and Hades. If this world is not Hell, it is awe-fully close to its margins.

So today may I please thank Peter Damian, William, and JW for providing meditative help in viewing that place. I would add only the reminder that our earthly prison - 'Wanderby-on-Lethe' - is already a place in which we are alienated from God.

Today therefore memorialises the space in which Christ's sacrifice reclaims us from that Death. Today we remember His opening the Way for Reconciliation with God ... and His refusal to compromise with His Enemy.

Again, I say, Lord Carey is not the Enemy, and so I support compromise between YG's claim and his. Your views share common ground where followers of Christ are not lovers of the world and its ways; and the world has not learned a thing. In this two thousand years, it hasn't changed one jot or tittle for the better. So: recognising the perpetual nature of a lesser alienation (man-of-the-world from man-of-God), we must also articulate the determination to hold our ground. We must follow Our Lord's example, not Pilate's; for Pilate bowed to the mundane will behind the Crucifixion. It was Christ, the noblest of warriors, who built the Way out of the Enemy's playground.

I reckon that means now is a time for articulating the truth of our social, political, and spiritual realities, and of their parallels with those Our Lord faced. It is a time for determining how we will deal with this world for the sake of our eternal souls and those of our children. It is a time for each of us to anticipate what we will say in self-justification: when the Lord returns as Judge.

30 March 2013 17:05  
Blogger len said...

It is only God who can bring forth Life out of death.
In fact death(to self)and a surrender to God is necessary before God can bring about the transformation He desires in us.

Though the death of Jesus seemed like a total failure of Christ`s mission and a triumph for satan Jesus was right at the centre of God`s redemption plan for His Creation.
"The whole Adam life of nature is absolutely fallen.It cannot be improved.It is fallen and poisoned by the serpent in root and branch.The whole scheme of redemption lies in the fact that God must begin again,so to speak and to make a new Creation.Through the Cross He plans to bring to an end the old Adam life of the fallen race and to build again a new creation in the midst of the ruins.(J penn-Lewis)

30 March 2013 17:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

It’s a dirty job Flossie, but the Inspector is heartened that while he does it, no one else has to.

The picture of the bare breasted girl, and her equally tender years, made it to one blog site, although all we got to see was “In Gay”. Reminds this man of the young gals who protested most vociferously for vegetarianism back in the late 1970s. Even so much as to have a go at people who wore leather shoes. However, with the campaign out of the way, one expects they all returned to Roast Beef and trimmings on a Sunday. A young thing has to eat, you know !

One has been musing over todays topic at his alma mater, and has concluded that although Christians are not being persecuted as such in the UK, we are being sent to the margins. That’s because those with Christian values tend to forget about them on election. A most curious state of affairs as our civilisation is as much tied up with Christianity as can be. Do those self deceiving politicians think society just arrived at this juncture ? And what is even more striking is that we are seeing and paying for, the results of a collapse in Christian values in the people, to wit, divorce, one parent families, and a life on benefits so resulting as the children head for the same destination not knowing any better.

So, the less Christianity about in society, the more tax you will pay on your petrol...


30 March 2013 18:13  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Would that you were being marginalised.
Carey is raving ...

30 March 2013 18:32  
Blogger Nick said...

The publication of Lord Carey’s statement today is an interesting coincidence. Reading submissions to the BBC’s “Have Your Say” it is hard to not notice the vitriolic hatred with which many Atheists and “Humanists” are consumed. Like it or not, we are becoming a culturally divided nation on matters of religion. Gone is the polite British calm, and along comes the rabid hatred from those who believe in nothing. They actually claim they believe in “the truth”, though they never say whose truth. Richard Dawkins’ “truth” presumably.

As to “in gay we trust” I can only laugh at their idiocy. If they want to put their trust in such a false god, the very thing they worship will of course devour them. Mr Cameron will do nothing to help Christians either. He is weak; a featherweight politician who is more interested in following whatever is popular than doing what is right or just. Nobody should have any confidence in him at all.

30 March 2013 18:51  
Blogger MFH said...

I agree with your grace that this is the wrong time. It would have been better to have spoken when he sat in the chair of ST Augustine.
Your Grace, if you cant see where the current aggressive secularism is leading then your reincarnation must have been minus your eyes of perception.

30 March 2013 19:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say fellows, the Inspector is wrong. We ARE being persecuted, in the case below from Pink News, by pillow biters...
--------------------
“The editor of a Northern Ireland-based LGBT magazine is seeking legal advice after he was refused a quote by a printer, who said he was “not comfortable” being associated with the magazine’s target audience.

The Guardian reports that Danny Toner, the founder and editor of MyGayZine, had wanted to expand his growing online project by running a print edition in June, to coincide with Belfast Pride.He had approached a printer, Nick Williamson, after seeing his services advertised on Gumtree, but Mr Williamson replied that he was “unable” to give Mr Toner a quote.

When pressed for clarification he said: “There are some types of work I do not feel comfortable taking on and this is definitely one them.

“To work alongside (even printing for) the LGBT [community] would be in contradiction to my own faith and so I will have to let this quote slide.”

Mr Toner said he was “hurt and annoyed” by Mr Williamson’s reply.

“Once he came back and was open about the reasons for refusing, I was shocked about how blatant he was. I felt hurt and annoyed and confused. Why? How could anybody refuse a service just for that one reason? It was embarrassing too – it’s shaming,” he said.

He said he had contacted a lawyer specialising in LGBT rights and had alerted Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission.”
----------------------
Rather sad that these days, the intolerant of Christianity should so readily turn to litigation at the drop of a hat. What !

30 March 2013 20:15  
Blogger David B said...

Inspector, do you really want to to go back to the days when people with goods or services to sell could say with impunity 'No blacks or Irish'?

Anti discrimination law is not without its positive side, you know.

Of course both Catholics and Protestants have a long history of prejudice discrimination against people who were born to Jewish parents, so I suppose perhaps prejudice per se could be a part of your religion, but if so my view is that anti-discrimination law both does and should trump prejudice and discrimination, religious or otherwise.

David

30 March 2013 20:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B, we are talking here of a man who in his conscience, cannot tender for a contract. What do want to happen to him, dragged behind a cart and then be tarred and feathered ?

You yourself are a great deal more intolerant than people with a Christian belief. But that’s secularism for you..

30 March 2013 20:35  
Blogger Flossie said...

Inspector, you may view the whole message here.

http://www.alansangle.com/?p=1248

(Sorry, haven't worked out how to hyperlink.)

It is a pity that Lord Carey was not so outspoken while he was in post, but things have worsened in the intervening period and I expect he now has more time to discern how bad things are, which he probably did not as ABC.

There are some of us left, though, who will shout from the rooftops the consequences of the evil which is enveloping our land, aided and abetted by the prime minister, while we still can - although I very much fear there will be a time when we cannot.

30 March 2013 20:41  
Blogger Nick said...

I don't think it is prejudice when the guy politely declines to print the magazine because its content is offensive to him. If I refuse to buy a copy of a gay mag does that make me prejudiced, or am I just exercising my right ot choose? We all know the gay lobby hs an agenda that goes beyond gay rights. They are using politicians to enforce their own brand of bigotry. Sad that the politicians are too dumb to see this

30 March 2013 20:41  
Blogger David B said...

What if his conscience forbade him to deal with Jews or black people?

What if his religious conscience led him to stone adulterers, people who advised herbal remedies, wore two sorts of fabric or worked on a day he thought holy?

I am not intolerant, as my views on gay rights more than adequately shows. I am not fond of bigotry, though, nor do I like the idea that because people claim to have a certain sort of religion then they should be free from obeying the law.

Laws forbidding people with businesses to discriminate on grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation have their good points, would you not agree? As, of course, do laws against people following Levitical rules, as I point out above.

David

30 March 2013 20:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oh dear Flossie. The poor girl has practised the most appalling self abuse. A tragic picture of humiliation.

Important point fellows. As soon as Gay Marriage is a reality, expect more persecution, this time of head masters / mistresses. Now you didn’t think the gays have gone to so much trouble to get the establishment to sanctify their domestic set ups AND forego the “right” to go into schools to “educate” other peoples young into their way of living.

One suspects that quite a few MPs who voted for SSM are going to be furious they were not informed of this during parliamentary discussion of the bill. But of course, the whole thing was pushed through with such indecent haste there was no chance of that !

The Inspector blames that little fella who sits on the woolsack...


30 March 2013 20:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Nick. Your refusal to even contemplate buying a gay magazine makes you a homophobic bigot of the first order. Shame on that man !

David B. Ever heard of the term laissez faire ? It means you don’t do anything about a problem unless it really is a problem, and a problem it ain't – only in your secularist police state of utopia, because to tie up all the loose ends you continually trip yourself up with, you will need a blasted police state to keep an eye on us all !


30 March 2013 21:04  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

David B.

Have you never heard of Freedom of Thought, Speech, Conscience and Association?

If someone approaches you to supply a service you do not feel comfortable providing then you have the right to decline.

The essence of this job was to engage in producing a Gay publication. This would have required the printer to study, create, handle and print gay material that may contain words and images of acts and beliefs that he may find disturbing.

That is way different to refusing to sell a gay man some letterheads or business cards which is a neutral act, wherein refusal would be discrimination, as his sexuality would be irrelevant to the content of the transaction.

Would it be OK to demand that a Halal or Kosher butcher supply you with pork chops? Of course not

However if he refused to serve you to his normal fare because you were not Muslim or Jewish then THAT would be discrimination.

30 March 2013 21:35  
Blogger Jack Sprat said...

@ David B. Over and over again people repeat the same fallacies from the Gaystapo script written from them by Marshal Kirk and Hunter Madsen.
The automatic knee-jerk comparison between homosexuals and black people, or Jews, is a false comparison. They are not the same type of category. Your argument from analogy is wrong and Harry-ca-Nab is correct. It is not fair or right to compel anyone to participate in what they consider to be morally wrong. Any form of enticement to sodomy, promiscuity and the other perversions of the not-very-gay agenda comes into that category. Homosexuality is a form of behaviour, while skin colour or Jewish descent are not.
Kirk and Madsen advised homosexuals always to play the victim card and whinge as if they were the underdog. By so doing they could manipulate and bully society.
Kirk and Madsen are the creators of what they themselves called "The Gay Agenda" to market homosexuality and homosexuals to the public. This was a high powered, Madison Avenue
style psy-ops manifesto that even the homosexual author admitted would use Chinese mind control tactics, tactic from Hitler's Mein Kampf, lies, deception and propaganda to deceive, trick and attack peoples minds and will, and they boasted about it here:
"The homosexual agenda can succeed by conversion of the average
Americans emotions, mind, and will, through, a planned psychological
attack in the form of propaganda to the nation via media." (page 153)
Instead of teaching this rubbish to our school children we should teach them to recognize and reject the ploys.

30 March 2013 21:53  
Blogger Jason Rankin said...

Excellent article your grace.

30 March 2013 22:00  
Blogger Jack Sprat said...

Notice how thick the LGBT bullies, are, how utterly selfish and unable to grasp even the possibility of any other point of view let alone respect it. "I was shocked about how blatant he was. [HA HA HA] I felt hurt and annoyed and confused.[HA HA HA HAAA] Why? How could anybody refuse a service just for that one reason? [HAHAHAHAHA] It was embarrassing [HAHAHAHAHA] too – it’s shaming,” [HAHAHAHAHAHA]he said."
Not that there's anything blatant, embarrassing, and shaming about the open touting of sodomy and perversion by the likes of Mr L Brinkin and Mr A Flanders.

30 March 2013 22:04  
Blogger Jack Sprat said...

Well said indeed, Archbishop Carey.

30 March 2013 22:06  
Blogger Nick said...

Being Jew or black is not a lifestyle choice. Being gay is, and its one that many consider perverse and detrimental to society. Unfortunately, most gays are not grown up enough to accept this so they have to throw big hissy fits in front of their lawyers and get the nasty straight people to say sorry.

30 March 2013 22:25  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

David B Wrote :

"What if his conscience forbade him to deal with Jews or black people?"

And then

"Laws forbidding people with businesses to discriminate on grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation have their good points, would you not agree? As, of course, do laws against people following Levitical rules"

Why bring Jews into this discussion in the first paragraph, when in the later one, you freely trash the same later (and clearly not understanding Jewish or the Christian views on these laws)?

Your own views on Jews and therefore my own flesh and blood, are quite clear from your posts to them here, when on various occasions, which results in the 'enlightened' view that they are 'child abusers' for their religious beliefs on circumcision. You also write animal rights tosh on Kosher slaughter.

So in conclusion, your belief in religious freedoms are limited to whatever mood you are in, rather than a genuine secular belief in religious freedom.

But do not worry. I am sure that the enlightened secular paradise of North Korea will take you in.

30 March 2013 22:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Nick. This man remembers when gays were dropping like flies in the mid 1980s. Actually felt sorry for them then, but can’t see the same sentiment from any of us now. Gays have transitioned from potential fatal disease carriers to uber people in less than 30 years and they have managed that by THREATENING litigation or ACTUAL litigation, or in the case of the lobbying of MPs re SSM, BULLYING tactics and it cannot be ruled out, threatening to make a nuisance of themselves should the MP not comply. Although no evidence for the latter, unless any MP out there wants to come forth...

30 March 2013 22:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Come now Lavendon old fellow, you’re rather harsh on David B, what !

The fellow is a constant source of amusement, as he peers into the ways of the world with a schoolboys wonderment, with a schoolboys sense of right and wrong (...No blacks, dogs, Irish signs or circumcised Jews, or anything else which he thinks is horrid...). And a schoolboys sense of fairness. (...It was rotten of you to have nothing to do with the gay mag man...). And a schoolboys solution of the worlds woes. (...We’ll make a law, and that will jolly well fix everything...).

Bless him...

30 March 2013 22:51  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Inspector,

Indeed. I was harsh on schoolboy B, but he has been crying out for such an observation for some time.

As it is Easter, I shall relent on my remarks and suggest an exile to Cuba is in order. Still a secular socialist paradise, but one with cigars and fine weather. I am sure he will enjoy witnessing first hand, the fruits of a secular, atheist and enlightened government.

30 March 2013 23:40  
Blogger len said...

When I see some of the comments here from 'professing christians' I marvel even more that Jesus Christ would give His Life for them.


What is man that You are mindful of him?....what indeed?.

30 March 2013 23:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, you are another pitiful specimen of stunted mental growth. It’s not a bowl of cherries out there, you fool....

31 March 2013 00:03  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Inspector
"Reminds this man of the young gals who protested most vociferously for vegetarianism back in the late 1970s"
They did a good job. Vegetaranism is more widespread. Christian Vegetarian Association-
http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/default.htm
I hope Pope Francis adopts St. Francis of Assisi compassionate treatment of animals.
Mutton is a particularly unpleasant nasty smelling meat.
Enjoy your Easter Eggs.

31 March 2013 00:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Greetings Manfarang. It’s all down to size, isn’t it. The veggies would swipe the lowly disease carrying fly, but when it comes to a lamb, they take it to their bosom. And yet, two animals, equal before God. Such is the bullshit that effete man lives by...


31 March 2013 00:56  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

The innocent Inspector said, "Important point fellows. As soon as Gay Marriage is a reality, expect more persecution, this time of head masters / mistresses."

Hahahaha! Come visit Canada, Inspector. The idea that a principal would even question the It is impossible now to become or remain a teacher, mmuch less a principal without intensive training in "equity issues" with a heavy dose of Gay-positive content. It matters not what your opinions or beliefs are, covering LGBT lifestyle in positive way... "celebrating" their lifestyles with stories, illustrations, videos and books... is an integral and fairly significant component of the general curriculum from first grade on.

When my youngest was in second grade in our public system, an unannounced mock Gay parade was organized by the principal and all the kids had to march on the track and around the block wearing pink and waving rainbow flags. The principal was genuinely surprised that some us parents were livid. My girl is in private Jewish school now and all that's behind us. For now. This year tax-funded Catholic schools in Ontario are required to provide LGBT clubs and legislators are already looking at ways to impose curriculum changes in fully private schools as well. I had no idea we'd be required to pretend, by law, that Gay unions are a marriage, that ugly guys in dresses with falsetto voices are actually women and that my kid would be taught to question her "sexual orientation" and to be "open to alternatives" when a couple of short decades ago my future wife and I marched, in sympathy and solidarity, at the first Gay parade in Toronto. Guess I'm getting old.

31 March 2013 03:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lavendon: "Your own views on Jews and therefore my own flesh and blood, are quite clear from your posts to them here, when on various occasions, which results in the 'enlightened' view that they are 'child abusers' for their religious beliefs on circumcision."

Yet the undisputable fact is that Jews cut some of the body off their male babies when there is no medical necessity to do so simply because of their religious beliefs. We're just desensitised to something that's quite weird and quite disturbing when one thinks about it dispassionately. We simply wouldn't put up with it, collectively, if someone invented a religion today and lopped off the earlobes of vulnerable babies to mark them out as adherents of the religion.

31 March 2013 07:34  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Inspector
There are no flies on me.

31 March 2013 11:31  
Blogger len said...

God does nothing without reason.
'Circumcision' is an outward sign of a Covenant formed between God and His People.
Circumcision of the foreskin is a forerunner a 'picture' of the circumcision 'of the heart' which would be performed later on when God would cut away the sinful flesh which surrounds 'the Heart' and replace it with a pure heart.(a small price(for us) to pay but a great price(for God) to pay for our salvation.


31 March 2013 14:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi, one wonders how many MPs here voted for SSM because they didn’t want a LGBT demonstration outside their constituency office each and every Saturday until either the MP stands down, is de-elected, or dies in office. One similarly wonders how many organisations out there are ‘gay positive’ to avoid litigation in the murky world of ECHR law.

Every perceived slight is now analysed, considered, acted upon. Even cases where ugly men in blouses and ill fitting wigs try to use the ladies toilet and are pushed out by the bemused genuine article.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It must not be this way. We cannot have an uber people with special privileges becoming a new priestly caste, to instruct us all in how to worship them and their chosen lifestyle...

31 March 2013 15:45  
Blogger David B said...

Lavendon, to persecute, to dislike, people on the basis of their parentage is, IMV, both wrong and stupid.

However, if a belief system involves doing things that I believe to be wrong, and/or believes things I believe to be false, then the atheist has as much prerogative as anyone else to speak his mind.

It is both silly and mistaken of you to conflate prejudice against people because of their origins with dislike of aspects of a cultural heritage - be it badger baiting, dancing bears, circumcision (male and female, from Jewish, Islamic or secular traditions), ritual animal slaughter.....

David

31 March 2013 18:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 March 2013 21:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David B

For goodness sake. I was circumcised as a child. I am a Jew? Was I circumcised for religious reasons? There was a time when virtually every male child born in the US was circumcised. Were they all Jews as well? Were they all circumcised for religious reasons? No, they were circumcised because the medical community thought it a wise precaution. And considering the number of men in AIDS-ravaged Africa who are currently lining up to get circumcised, I can understand why.

Now I have never actually asked my mother "Why did you have me circumcised?" Perhaps that is because I have never perceived that my autonomy had been violated; that some facet of my life had been torn away from me against my will. Perhaps that is because I have never considered my autonomous integrity to have been violated any more than it was violated by the wholly involuntary imposition of having been vaccinated. To compare male circumcision to the brutality of a clitoridectomy is an idiotic argument not worthy of you. I am living proof of the idiocy of the argument! I suffered no loss. Men in fact seek out circumcision on medical grounds. No woman seeks out a clitoridectomy.

So we find ourselves in the interesting position of condemning a beneficial procedure on religious grounds while affirming it on medical grounds. And therein we discover the true nature of the complaint. You do not object to the fact that adults make medical decisions on behalf of their children. You understand that adults are required to make such decisions. Instead, you object to the fact the adults make religious decisions on behalf of their children. And circumcision is your cat's paw.

My parents did not abuse me by having me circumcised. My parents in fact protected me from certain ailments and imposed zero cost on me in the process. The fact that you think otherwise is of no consequence. Did they subject me to some risk? Yes, just like they did when they had me vaccinated. But that is what parents do. They make decisions on behalf of their children.

carl

31 March 2013 21:46  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thanks, Carl; again you covered an issue better than I could. I should add that every non-Jewish Canadian around my age I've asked was circumcised. None of my doctor friends ever encountered anyone with problems due to circumcision. This like the ritual slaughter is a manufactured issue by certain unsavory sectors who appear to bedevil Jews in every generation, from the Greeks, all the way through to the Nazis and commies and whoever the new weird crop of cryptofascists happen to be. Conflating badger baiting and child abuse with circumcision and ritual slaughter. What nauseating idiots. My grandparents heard that same shite fr the fascists and my parents from the commies and in each case risked life and liberty to gift their kids with blessing of the ancient covenant. And I and my grandkids will do the same and burn the caboose of jackbooted quack who tries again to stop us. Harrumph.

31 March 2013 23:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

again you covered an issue better than I could.

Yeah, I kind of doubt that. Well, maybe. Only because I can make the argument independent of the religious context. As a child of the New Covenant, I consider circumcision as nothing and uncircumcision as nothing. David B must therefore confront me (and, by extension, accuse my parents) on purely medical grounds. He will have a difficult time doing that. AIDS. Africa. Case closed.

One of the annoying things about this argument is the wholly dishonest use of the phrase 'female circumcision.' It is used to relate two procedures that have absolutely no connection in kind. It's a cheap shabby argument of guilt by association where the association is totally fabricated.

The other annoying thing is that this argument comes almost exclusively from child-unfriendly culture of the secular Left. It loves children in the abstract, but it doesn't actually take responsibility for any children in the particular. Instead it scatters them in pieces across the abortionist's floor. It carries the DNA of its father, Rousseau, who loved children in his writings, but sent his actual progeny to misery and death in the orphanage. Children are nothing but a means to an end in this argument.

carl

1 April 2013 00:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The indisputable fact remains that Jews remove body parts from their babies simply for religious reasons. Playing the ethnicity victim card and refusing to be criticised on the back of it because of past pogroms or the actions of the Nazis changes nothing there.

Parents acting for what they believe is the good of their offspring is all fine and dandy when the cost/benefits analysis is clear. However, imagining a benefit based merely on religious belief isn't usually sufficient if there's an associated cost for a minor to bear.

We'd collectively be inclined to intervene if parents were subjecting a child to the sort of exorcism that some African belief systems recognise even if the parents believed it was necessary for the good of the child. Their mere belief of it is insufficient. We do the same regarding blood transfusions for Jehovah Witness children who need them, rejecting the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parents.

Luckily, male circumcision is relatively benign in modern society even though it appears to reduce sensitivity. Hence, I'd say the cost/benefits of prevention of the ritual for Jewish religious and ethnic groups weighs against intervening. Nevertheless, it's a religious, or religiously-inspired, mutilation of infants and there's nothing wrong with pointing that out.

There's also something slightly curious about the widespread removal of a body part in a Christian-oriented society like the USA for medical reasons. If the religious believe that their god designed our bodies then why on earth are they removing bits of body as a matter of course? Did their god feck up or something when he was laying out the template such that other humans are better placed than it to make the defect good?

1 April 2013 08:34  
Blogger IanCad said...

Carl.

Your last paragraph nails it superbly.
The devaluation of children; they are are of utility only.

Such is the case over here.
The awful Dr. Helen Wright is typical of the breed.
Here is the depressing link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8505000/8505951.stm

1 April 2013 09:52  
Blogger len said...

I also was circumcised as a child.Do I feel violated?.Certainly not!.
If you want to talk about true 'violation'lets talk about abortion.

1 April 2013 10:16  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 10:58  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Good show chaps. Just tells us that people are liberal when they want to be (gay marriage) and very illiberal when it comes to religious freedom (male circumcision). This is because the atheists have no solid foundation of beliefs and can be changed at the drop of a hat.

Danjo 'cost benefit analysis'. More utilitarian then, rather than a Mill liberal.

Also your comment about victimhood. Well if you look at history you would understand that your argument is cock. The fascists for example declared Jews 'sub-human' before they slaughtered them. For a decade. Look it up and you might, for a fraction of a second, see where Avi Barzel is coming from there. A Jew becomes a 'sub-human' by portraying their religion as such, e.g. circumcision is an abuse of a child.

I am also waiting for David B and Danjo to line up to condemn abortion, which is more than an alleged 'mutilation' of a male child. It the out and out murder of any child, in a painful and agonising way.

I shall be waiting a long time.

1 April 2013 11:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 11:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lavendon: "Just tells us that people are liberal when they want to be (gay marriage) and very illiberal when it comes to religious freedom (male circumcision)."

Or the religious freedom of Jehovah Witnesses to deny their offspring blood transfusions? Is that illiberal to intervene? Or are there underlying principles and arguments around all of this that you're missing?

"Danjo 'cost benefit analysis'. More utilitarian then, rather than a Mill liberal."

Perhaps you don't realise that JS Mill was a Utilitarian as far as moral philosophy is concerned. He was also a product of his time, thinking that 'barbarian nations' may require a more paternalistic approach. Of course, the actual issue here is that the infants are not consenting adults and therefore paternalism is appropriate ... something JS Mill also recognised which, again, you may not realise.

"Also your comment about victimhood. Well if you look at history you would understand that your argument is cock."

And then you go on without saying what is "cock" about it at all. Again, the fact that Jews as an ethnic and religious group have been subject to profound injustice throughout history does not allow individual Jews to claim victimhood which gives them a sort of universal protection from criticism over their actions is what is actually "cock". Complete cock. And I'm not worried about pointing it out when I see it.

"I am also waiting for David B and Danjo to line up to condemn abortion, which is more than an alleged 'mutilation' of a male child. It the out and out murder of any child, in a painful and agonising way."

Note the core 'begging the question' assumption in there which had been highlighted time and time and time and time again. Unfortunately for you, demanding that people like me accept your premise there does not hold much water in the real world as far as logical argument is concerned. You may have a valid argument but mere assertion does not make it sound so jog on, matey.

1 April 2013 11:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Me: "and therefore paternalism is appropriate"

Anticipating a reply, that's where the cost/benefits thing sits and it's not just parents who get to decide the criteria.

1 April 2013 11:39  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Lord Lavendon,

I agree with Danjo, you need to define 'cock', lest he gets flustered or perhaps excited and misunderstands you. (lol). I think you mean 'cock' as in a load of rubbish, than than a bit of the male anatomy.

I for one cannot wait to live in the Danjo-David B secular state. All religions are equal, except for ones we don't agree with. The atheist logic here :

1. I believe in religious freedom
2. Except for when I disagree with that religion
3. I disagree with the premise of all Religions
4. But as most people are religious and I claim to believe in 1, therefore we must proscribe religions to what we believe, not what they believe.
5. Therefore religion must change to our belief, if not it should be banned.

And cost benefit analysis. Yep, compulsory death for anyone over the age of 70, lest they be a burden on society.

I have to admit that the more I read from David B and Danjo, the more and more radicalised I become and the more and more I am determined to defend us Jews.

As for Danjo's attack on Judaism, he was clearly speaking for himself when the wrote :

"Unfortunately for you, demanding that people like me accept your premise there does not hold much water in the real world as far as logical argument is concerned. You may have a valid argument but mere assertion does not make it sound so jog on, matey."

1 April 2013 12:08  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 12:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "I agree with Danjo, you need to define 'cock', lest he gets flustered or perhaps excited and misunderstands you. (lol)."

Well, I'm happy to deal with your fannying around. Incidentally, that means mess around or not take something seriously, rather than what you might think. I wouldn't like you to get all moist down there unnecessarily because you're a dyke and we can bring that up in a debate whether it's relevant or not. Hope that helps. Lol, etc.

"And cost benefit analysis. Yep, compulsory death for anyone over the age of 70, lest they be a burden on society."

Well, that's just hysterical nonsense. I'd call it hyperbole but it's not grounded on anything I've said and it's something I'd never accept myself.

"As for Danjo's attack on Judaism, he was clearly speaking for himself when the wrote :"

I'm not attacking Judaism as such, I'm saying that one of its core practices is the mutilation of infants which in itself is morally dubious if one doesn't accept that the Jewish god exists, which most of us don't.

1 April 2013 12:35  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Hannah,

A good point. I did mean that the argument was "cock" as in the olde expression "cock and bull"; in other words an argument that is ridiculous. I trust that this gives him his definition.

1 April 2013 12:35  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...


I note Mr Danjo, that you say I beg the question. You use the same technique when you state :

"Or the religious freedom of Jehovah Witnesses to deny their offspring blood transfusions? Is that illiberal to intervene? Or are there underlying principles and arguments around all of this that you're missing?"

1 April 2013 12:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

So, to the numbered argument.

1. That's a broad statement and true in its way. However, as with any freedom, it must have its limitations in a society like ours.

2. Yes. Though my disagreement comes with counter-arguments based on other values. I've given an example of blood tranfusions for children of the Jehovah Witnesses, which no-one has taken on yet. The example demonstrates how we collectively intervene to restrict religious freedom bespite the parent-child paternalism we normally value.

3. I do. However, Christians disagree with the premises in Islam, and Jews disagree with a core premise in Christianity. Hence, we all accept that we are not necessarily bound by the premises or the arguments of other religions ourselves.

4. No. There are many things, most things, we can accept and still live together. However, we won't accept things like, for example, the stoning to death of adulterers, for example. We must be using other values there to determine social ethics, surely?

5. Societies which are not theocracies proscribe aspects of religions which don't fit into the ethics and structure of the society. In the UK, we're not a Christian theocracy and therefore our laws are created and maintained independently of the priesthood. Most of us are happy with that.

1 April 2013 12:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lavendon: "I note Mr Danjo, that you say I beg the question. You use the same technique when you state :"

If it wasn't clear, you were arguing on the basis that we both think that a blastocyst, zygote, embryo, foetus, etc is a person in an equal sense to the way you and I are persons. I don't. Nor does the medical ethics board in the UK. Hence, your argument is not logically sound and I am not bound by its conclusions.

So, back to my comment that you quoted. There's an example as an illustration of my main thrust in there about Jehovah's Witnesses. Are you happy that the decision to deny a child a blood transfusion which may save its life is solely the parents because of their religious beliefs, or are you using something else which is as yet unspecified but may be something upon which we might agree?

1 April 2013 12:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "I have to admit that the more I read from David B and Danjo, the more and more radicalised I become and the more and more I am determined to defend us Jews."

Spot the sense of victimhood again there. I've made an argument about a religious, or religiously-inspired, practice based on values and arguments outside that religion. Feel free to defend the practice all you like, your arguments will stand on their own merits, or lack of them. However, there's no need to defend Jews. I've already said that on a cost/benefits analysis I wouldn't advocate intervention anyway. If you find that I sneer a bit about certain religious beliefs then please note that I'm British, posting from the UK, and we value the right to be free to do that here so hard luck on that.

1 April 2013 13:04  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Fanny around. LOL. And I thought you didn't have a sense of humour. That's a good one. Nothing I haven't heard before. Except add Kike after Dyke.

Hysterical? Why? You could argue for this, based upon your logic and rational principals, which are not founded on anything other than the zietgiest of the day.

You are, by definition, attacking Judaism, as an atheist why wouldn't you? You say so yourself :

" the mutilation of infants which in itself is morally dubious if one doesn't accept that the Jewish god exists, which most of us don't."

So why bother to deny it in the first sentence? If you are worried about being cast as an anti-semite, clearly that is just all of us suffering from 'victimhood' as you have said before.

As for your response to my 5 points. Good. What you have done is to justify my logical thought process in a way I couldn't have hoped. With the two in hand, it seems to me more a case of how illiberal liberals actually are.

1 April 2013 13:05  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 13:15  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"If you find that I sneer a bit about certain religious beliefs then please note that I'm British, posting from the UK, and we value the right to be free to do that here so hard luck on that."

So now you can't be a Jew and be British? (is that my victimhood coming out?).

Well that's rich coming from a liberal multi-culturalist who constantly attacks Christians by calling them a minority in an multi cultural country, which is why they apparently need the collective tenderness of a secular state to "protect" them.

Well I can tell you I am British, Jewish and posting from the UK. In the UK we are FREE to be Jews and to practice our faith,including male circumcision.

So hard luck, as you would say. We don't need a secular state to provide religious freedom. We need people to leave us alone...

1 April 2013 13:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Fanny around. LOL. And I thought you didn't have a sense of humour. That's a good one. Nothing I haven't heard before. Except add Kike after Dyke."

You could mention the Nazis in there too for maximum "Poor us! Someone has dared criticise something Jewish despite the fact of the holocaust!" potential. Well, it doesn't work with me.

"Hysterical? Why? You could argue for this, based upon your logic and rational principals, which are not founded on anything other than the zietgiest of the day."

You created a straw man. If you struggle to argue based on the content of my actual arguments and my normal position then you might wonder whether there's something wrong with yours.

"So why bother to deny it in the first sentence? If you are worried about being cast as an anti-semite, clearly that is just all of us suffering from 'victimhood' as you have said before."

There's nothing in what I've said that is anti-semitic in the normal usage of that phrase. If you think there is then feel free to point it out properly. I'm making my arguments based on specific things which apply just as well to other religions too. For example, they apply to Jehovah's Witnesses and and the practice I mentioned ... which you seem to be studiously avoiding.

"As for your response to my 5 points. Good. What you have done is to justify my logical thought process in a way I couldn't have hoped. With the two in hand, it seems to me more a case of how illiberal liberals actually are."

So, are you the sort of illiberal person you're pointing at too? Would you advocate intervening over the blood transfusions for children of Jehovah Witnesses? Or would you be content to let extremist Muslims stone Muslim adulterers to death if they claim it's Sharia? Let's have you say it if so! Stop pussy-footing [1] around.

[1] That's not a reference to a sexual activity either.

1 April 2013 13:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector was circumcised as baby in the late 1950s. In the 1960s, he remembers his classmates having tonsillectomies as routine, and if you had abdominal rumblings as a child, say from bolting your food down at mealtimes, then your appendix would come out. If you suffered nosebleeds, then you would be cauterised.
Other child issues were child hernia repair in the days of difficult births before caesareans became routine , and the removal of most of your teeth if the dentist managed to catch you. You might also find yourself with callipers around your legs. And then there was the optician making you wear spectacles with a sticking plaster over one to correct the fallacy of ‘lazy eye’.

Seemed to be a golden time for surgeons !

1 April 2013 13:22  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"That's the victim hood coming out"

I think we can note that whenever Danjo discussing the gay marriage issue and he goes on about how terrible gays have had it in the past as a justification for that topic, we can remind him that is just his 'victimhood' coming out .What's good for Jews, is good for gays.

1 April 2013 13:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "So now you can't be a Jew and be British? (is that my victimhood coming out?)."

Actually, it's more that you're getting a bit hysterical by the look of it. You'll be casting me as the equivalent of a concentration camp guard by the end of this the way you're going.

1 April 2013 13:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Circumcision isn't a 'relatively
benign' procedure. It's a positively beneficial procedure. That's why African men are seeking it out. Every parallel example you give fails to take account of this fact. They are all different in kind. Circumcision isn't fatal. It doesn't risk death. It doesn't destroy function. The only alleged "cost" presented is a 'loss of sensitivity' which is the exact cost that I deny was imposed on me. I suppose the response will be that I don't know what I lack - that I need to have my consciousness raised, or some such equine excrement. To which I would respond "How do you know what I have experienced?"

This argument against circumcision in fact originates in a dogma of the modern creed of orgasm über alles. It is fundamentally carnal in its assumption that sexual pleasure is primarily a matter of physical sensation. And yet it hasn't even established any loss. It says "You might have been deprived of a more perfect orgasm." I'm just fine, thanks.

Oh, and that stuff about God "fecking up." An atheist is at his worst when he tries to argue from theology. Your underlying assumptions are so fundamentally pagan, you don't even realize how badly you missed. There isn't even an argument in the paragraph worth responding to. I would have to instruct you on why you don't know what you are talking about.

carl

1 April 2013 13:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Someone really needs to write the Horst Willy Song to give this argument its proper historical context. Here, let me present the first line.

"Die Penis Hoch!"

carl

No, this isn't meant to be funny. I am deadly serious.

1 April 2013 13:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "I think we can note that whenever Danjo discussing the gay marriage issue and he goes on about how terrible gays have had it in the past as a justification for that topic, we can remind him that is just his 'victimhood' coming out."

Well, you could try that I suppose. However, it won't really wash. I argue for equality rather than privilege and my arguments stand on philosophical stuff like that, not on the fact that gay people were unjustly [1] imprisoned a mere 45 years ago for having consenting sexual relationships. If I were to say that people can't criticise homosexuality now on anything irrespective of the arguments because gay people were abused in the not too distant past then you'd have a valid point. As I'm not then you're back to deploying straw men again, in lieu of good arguments and comebacks.

[1] Which almost everyone in the UK seems to accept now.

1 April 2013 13:32  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Yes, but your coming up with a JW 'strawman'. Anyway it should be 'strawpeople'.

Hysterical? No polemical. But use your strawpeople, fannies, cocks and whatever if it helps your argument.

1 April 2013 13:35  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

You wrote :
"I argue for equality rather than privilege and my arguments stand on philosophical stuff like that, not on the fact that gay people were unjustly [1] imprisoned a mere 45 years ago for having consenting sexual relationships. If I were to say that people can't criticise homosexuality now on anything irrespective of the arguments because gay people were abused in the not too distant past then you'd have a valid point. As I'm not then you're back to deploying straw men again, in lieu of good arguments and comebacks."

I could tweek this to :

"I argue for[Religious] equality rather than privilege and my arguments stand on philosophical stuff like that, not on the fact that Jewish people were unjustly [1] imprisoned [AND GASSED] a mere 70 years ago for BEING JEWISH and/or PRACTISING THE JEWISH FAITH.

If I were to say that people can't criticise JUDAISM now on anything irrespective of the arguments because JEWISH people were abused in the not too distant past then you'd have a valid point. As I'm not then you're back to deploying straw men again, in lieu of good arguments and comebacks."

[1] Which almost everyone in the WORLD seems to accept now, except a few discredited nutcases and holocaust deniers.

1 April 2013 13:38  
Blogger IanCad said...

What with all you guys bragging about getting clipped, I'm beginning to wonder whether I've missed out on something.

However, before I visit our local mohel I think another reading of Genisis 34 would be in order.

Three days later and still sore!

No Thanks.

1 April 2013 13:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Perhaps Jews ought to say male infants are circumcised prophylactically for health reasons, even though the benefits are questionable in the UK, rather than because they believe their god wants the body part lopped off as a sign of some sort of religious covenant?

1 April 2013 13:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Yes, but your coming up with a JW 'strawman'. Anyway it should be 'strawpeople'. "

No, it's not a straw man at all. It's a very pertinent example which illustrates one of the core things in my argument. You are very studiously ignoring all my questions on it. Now, why is that I wonder?

"I could tweek this to :"

If only that would actually work in the context. Sadly, it does not.

"[1] Which almost everyone in the WORLD seems to accept now, except a few discredited nutcases and holocaust deniers."

What exactly has that got to do with me? I have no doubt whatsoever that the holocaust happened, and I think Jews were treated terribly in England at various points in our history. You seem to be completely losing your grip on the argument at hand, I'm thinking here.

1 April 2013 13:49  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

I've got to admit I am enjoying reading this thread... watching a self proclaimed liberal saying some of the most illiberal things to justify atheism/anti religion/anti-Judaism is a joy to watch...go Hannah and Carl! Hopefully Avi will pop up and join the fun.

PS- Danjo, no one has suggested you are a concentration camp guard, you in dressed in a well pressed black uniform , with leather jack books, shouting out orders in German, doesn't quite seem to fit your profile.

1 April 2013 13:56  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

I also agree, 'strawman', should be changed to 'strawpeople'. That is another drive for the full equality we want (surely?).

1 April 2013 13:59  
Blogger IanCad said...

OIG

"and the removal of most of your teeth if the dentist managed to catch you--"

You forgot mutilation by adenoidectomy. A favorite, supposedly performed on the kitchen table.

It was my understanding that UK dentists were paid by the procedure, thus extracting when filling would suffice.

1 April 2013 14:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

David: "I've got to admit I am enjoying reading this thread... watching a self proclaimed liberal saying some of the most illiberal things to justify atheism/anti religion/anti-Judaism is a joy to watch...go Hannah and Carl! Hopefully Avi will pop up and join the fun."

Didn't you do a laughable swan song a while back and trot off to your sister's absurd little blog space like a spoilt child? Well, now you're back you might like to engage in the debate itself rather than try to provide a supporting Greek Chorus for your family.

So, what exactly have I said that is so illiberal to your eyes? That I'd advocate intervening in the blood transfusion example despite the religious beliefs of the parents? On what basis do you think I'd do that? Afterall, there's religious freedom at stake! None of your family seem able to tackle that one despite all the claims of my illiberal traits. Or are you just blowing smoke with your rhetoric?

1 April 2013 14:07  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Danjo,

Thanks for providing the proof to what I was saying. You are clearly loosing the argument now, without any help from me (I might add).

Now to help you out on a few points you've made :

"Well, now you're back you might like to engage in the debate itself rather than try to provide a supporting Greek Chorus for your family"

Actually, I am watching and have been watching from the sidelines, so I am not intervening in this debate as such (which is why I am not going to comment on the last paragraph and set of questions). No I am posting here, not as a Greek chorus, but merely to provide a bit of support, cheerleading perhaps, to Carl and Hannah as a 'silent reader'.

If I could note, you are saying Hannah is getting more 'hysterical' with her writings and argument.

Then you give us this :

"Didn't you do a laughable swan song a while back and trot off to your sister's absurd little blog space like a spoilt child?".

That seems a bit hysterical to me. And "your sister's absurd little blog" a bit ad hominem- I thought the premise of your argument was that yours was rounded in rational acts and my sister's in straw men and hysterical nonense? But who am I, who acts like a mere spoilt child, to point this out?

1 April 2013 14:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I note the absence of any actual argument there in the underlying debate. You're just blowing smoke to try to save your family from its drubbing. Too late, I think.

1 April 2013 14:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

So, David, is it illiberal to intervene in the blood transfusion example? Afterall, the religious freedom of the parents is being intruded upon. Or perhaps your sister or uncle might like to take over on that?

1 April 2013 14:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

IanCad. Would adenoidectomy not be another term for tonsillectomy ?

As far as one knows, NHS Dentists, when there was such a beast, used to be paid as salaried. Then the socialists put them on piece rate. Not sure about unnecessary extraction, but they would fill for no apparent reason as that paid more than an all clear. This man believes he was a victim of that. In the end, successive governments of either colour made a hash of the terms and conditions and remuneration, and the dentists left the NHS en masse, and very quickly. Today, if you find an NHS dentist in practice, he’ll probably be an Eastern European.

1 April 2013 14:24  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

In actual fact I haven't been ignoring anything.

Let me summarise :

A) Why are you apparently illiberal :
1. As a liberal you believe in freedom of association, religion, worship and free speech? Yes or no.

2.Now if the answer to 1 is yes, why the problem with Jewish male circumcision? Is that not illiberal of you?

3. The comparison between Judaism and treatment of gays justifies my further argument. This is not about 'privilge', but about religious equality, just in the same way you demand gays have full civil equality, so Jews should have the protection of the law for their religion.

B) JW's and Islam:

Now my problem with this is that you are bringing in different religions to the discussion. A fair point, because my argument is about religious equality all told. But my problem is that I simply do not know enough about JW's or Islam. I don't pretend to be familiar with this religions and what their theology does or does not say and which group do and do not agree with blood transfusions or stoning. Hence, my pause of that argument. I feel I need to read up about these religions.

I want to read around and see what these religions say, compare your argument with these issues and circumcision and get back to you..

Afterall, you as an atheist are without a doubt going to portray ANY religion in a negative light. So I want to check out the facts first. I think that this more honest than pretending knowledge of Islam or JW's.


1 April 2013 14:33  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

[To David] :

"your sister's absurd little blog space"

How nice- and very intellectual/rational- of you.

I do wonder, perhaps you are loosing the grip or just loosing the argument here?

1 April 2013 14:38  
Blogger IanCad said...

OIG,

No, two separate appendages that the Lord gave us. Not sure exactly what their function is but it seems that those who still have them tend to be healthier than those lacking.

1 April 2013 14:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 14:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "A) Why are you apparently illiberal :
1. As a liberal you believe in freedom of association, religion, worship and free speech? Yes or no.

2.Now if the answer to 1 is yes, why the problem with Jewish male circumcision? Is that not illiberal of you?

3. The comparison between Judaism and treatment of gays justifies my further argument. This is not about 'privilge', but about religious equality, just in the same way you demand gays have full civil equality, so Jews should have the protection of the law for their religion."

Liberals value freedom as a Good. I value freedom. However, as I said before, freedom is necessarily limited in a society like ours. We are not free to do exactly as we please. Restricting freedom is not, in itself, illiberal despite what your uncle and brother seem to think. Nor does it make me a fascist as your uncle appears to think now, backed up by your weak-minded brother.

I have introduced the example of Jehovah's Witnesses and the blood transfusions for their children to demonstrate exactly this point. You refuse to say whether you'd intrude on their religious freedom, as does your brother. No doubt you realise that by explicitly admitting you'd intervene, as I expect you would, you, and your brother, and your uncle concede that you'r claims that I'm illiberal for accepting that religious freedom can be restricted outside of the religion are nonsense.

Your argument about religious equality doesn't hold water either. The religious of different flavours do not have equal amounts of freedom to do as they think their religions dictate. That Sikhs have exemptions from health and safety law which allow them to wear turbans for religious reasons does not imply that extreme Muslims can implement Sharia in the UK simply because they think it's a religious requirement. Those that do cannot expect the protection of English law. That's not what equality, in essence that like to be treated alike, means in this context.

"I do wonder, perhaps you are loosing the grip or just loosing the argument here?"

Yet every time you or your brother or your uncle post anything on this subject, I reply hard with argument after argument. You're all just blowing smoke each time and running back to your blog space to regroup.

1 April 2013 14:55  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Um, I've explained my refusal to comment on JW's/Islam is because I(me) does not know enough about those religions.

Relying on your examples (which may be 100% true) is not enough for me. I am sure I have heard that this is the case with JW's, but I'd be interested in looking at the other side of the argument and see how this fits in with yours. Sorry if that disrupts your trump card, but it is the way I approach issues.

My response will probably be on my "absurd little blog", as I will need a fair amount of space to write that kind of essay.

1 April 2013 15:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jehovah Witness stuff:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/witnesses/witnessethics/ethics_1.shtml

Legal positions:

http://adc.bmj.com/content/90/7/715.full

1 April 2013 15:03  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Thanks for that. I shall add it to my research pile.

1 April 2013 15:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Um, I've explained my refusal to comment on JW's/Islam is because I(me) does not know enough about those religions."

You need to know very little about the blood transfusion example. This is not about the detail, it's about the princple. That is, there is no absolute right to religious freedom. In trying to maximise freedom in a liberal society, there are usually cost/benefits analyses. The Sikh turban exemption debate at the time is an example of this. The analysis is not based on Utilitarianism, but may be on some sort of utilitarian calculus. When you realise the process, I expect even you will realise that you, your brother, and your uncle have been complete berks. No, there's no need to thank me when you get there. It's a free public service I provide.

1 April 2013 15:09  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Danjo, my dear chap, I am always of the belief that when an apparent intellectual, which is how you cast yourself here, calls people 'berks', 'weak minded', 'absurd', there is little point in debating that person. Hence my silence. I am pleased that Hannah has held her own with you, though.

1 April 2013 15:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

To reiterate, lopping off body parts from infants merely because of the religious beliefs of their parents is, at least on the face of it, a dubious thing to do. Most people are quite content to override religious freedom in some situations, such as parental refusal to allow a blood transfusion for medical reasons on their infant because of religious beliefs. The reason Jews perform male circumcision is solely for religious reasons. In principle, we'd be inclined to intervene in procedures like that just as we would if it involved (say) scarification. In this case, the cost of intervening in a core requirement of Judaism is massive and the benefit to individuals and society is very small, unlike in the blood transfusion situation. As a liberal society, we do not intervene in the refusal of adults to have blood transfusions because of religious reasons unless they're incapable of proper consent.

1 April 2013 15:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lavendon: "Danjo, my dear chap, I am always of the belief that when an apparent intellectual, which is how you cast yourself here, calls people 'berks', 'weak minded', 'absurd', there is little point in debating that person."

You skedaddled well before that, and your nephew got less than he deserved, I'd say. I note that you haven't called him to task to weighing in with nothing more than a load of hot air and smoke to provide some cover for your family. No wonder, really. Best you go back to Hannah's blog and bluster some more, I think.

1 April 2013 15:27  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Danjo,

Oh, I was taking my Easter Monday constitutional. Life outside of this blog my dear chap, rather than discussing JW's and whatnot. But when I came back and read the thread, you seemed to be getting more and more irate with everyone and resorting to personal abuse. Doesn't seem topper really and especially sad as you clearly have the ability to construct an argument, even if one is not persuaded by it.

Cherry pip old bean!

1 April 2013 15:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. This freedom, rights and equality for all. Takes a lot of policing, what !

Good to see you on the case as usual. JS Mill would be proud of you...

1 April 2013 15:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "This freedom, rights and equality for all. Takes a lot of policing, what !"

Clear principles help. That's where we've gone a bit wrong with the religious stuff now we're multicultural. With the equality stuff too as it goes, though I'll whsiper that bit if I may.

"Good to see you on the case as usual. JS Mill would be proud of you..."

One might even think I was a descendent of his but I'm not sure he had any children as he married late. I see that I've made despatches as a thread, albeit a whiny one, on Hannah's blog now. A woman scorned and all that, I expect. Heh. The Kavanaghs are like a hen house, bless them, once a fox targets one they all start flapping and squawking.

1 April 2013 16:11  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Nah. Your not worth flapping about for, but it is true you take centre stage on our "honours and citations" for your view of our writing as being an "absurd little blog space".

Anyway,just been thinking about your argument in my thinking corner and realised where it has gone unstuck. Very simple when you think about it.

And thanks for advertising my blog (for free) about 3 or 4 times now.

All told I am very pleased.

1 April 2013 16:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well, if you feel confident enough to give it an airing rather than just squawking about it from behind some metaphorical chicken wire then post it here.

1 April 2013 16:34  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 17:27  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Well as it is the last but one day of Passover, I am currently busy on other stuff at present (doubtless another Jewish thing which you probably want to ban- my victim hood complex coming through again you see).

1 April 2013 17:32  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"just squawking about it from behind some metaphorical chicken wire"

I just dunno what you mean now. I thought you were the rational logical one around here?

1 April 2013 17:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh look, it was just bluster afterall. What a surprise.

1 April 2013 17:39  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

No, it's called watching "neighbours", lol.

1 April 2013 17:49  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Anyway, whilst this isn't my central argument, here is a logical atheist thought process for you :

1. I disagree with circumcision because it harms[somehow] the baby and the baby can't give consent to this mutilation.
2. Babies can't given consent to the religion that their parents have.
3.As an atheist I think religion is wrong.
4. If cutting off a foreskin is wrong because of lack of consent, so is children being brought up in religion, because children can't consent to the religion of their parents.
5. Judaism is a religion which cuts off a foreskin and has an emphasis on children being bought up in that faith.
6. Given the above, Judaism needs to be banned or proscribed.

Sound familiar Danjo?

1 April 2013 17:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

No.

If nothing else then you have already been told explicitly that #6 is not something I advocate. You're indulging yourself in straw man fallacy again.

1 April 2013 18:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

You are asserting an uncontested principle to prove a case that is not on point.

Yes, a religious claim is not sufficient to establish the allowability of any given behavior. Yes, JW claims about blood transfusion constitute a good example for the case you are making. But what has any of that to do with circumcision? Failing to get a blood transfusion can lead to DEATH. The only cost you have associated with circumcision is some claim about 'less sensitivity' - and a concomitant assumption that 'less sensitivity equals a truncated sex life' where 'truncated' is measured on an esoteric and non-quantifiable scale.

Circumcision does not kill. It does not destroy. It does not cripple. It does not deprive. It does not remove function. It has nothing in common with the other examples you have presented on this thread. It is a common procedure with positive health benefits. You yourself know this to be true. If we were only talking about the decision that my parents made for me, this wouldn't even be controversial. What makes it controversial in your mind is the motivation behind the act. You aren't objecting to the procedure. You are objecting to the reason behind the procedure. You are applying your materialist worldview and saying "This procedure should not be performed for reasons that are objectively false."

Religion is barbarism to you. And this just proves the case in your mind. You see what you want to see because it confirms what you already believe. That's why you use words like mutilation. That's why back-handedly claim the authority to condemn even as you say you wouldn't intervene. This isn't about circumcision. It's about religion, and parents making decisions for their children. Circumcision is irreversible. If it's done for medical reasons, then well and good. But religious reasons? How DARE parents impose irreversible decisions on their children for the sake of something as primitive as religion! That is the bone that sticks in your throat. That is what offends the modern zeitgeist of secular autonomy.

carl

1 April 2013 18:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. The point was, when a fellow talks about freedoms as earnestly as you do, it is inevitable said freedoms must be written down, adequately defined. Then they are enshrined in law. This enables the freedoms to be nurtured, policed, imposed. Now, take a freedom we have, the freedom of speech. Fortunately, not enshrined in law as no doubt the Freedom of Speech Amendment Act, (journalistic behaviour and phone hacking) 2013 would be mid way to being drafted.

So with this in mind, the best freedoms are the one’s you can’t pin down, like the freedom of parents to chose to pass on their religion to their child, even if that means circumcision. One can just imagine himself shaking hands with JS Mill over this...


1 April 2013 18:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, in a state of nature we are politically free to do anything we like. The only thing is, we may not actually have the power to do it. In our free, politically liberal society, we have a right to freedom because our society is founded on the principle that we are free to do as we like unless it impacts on other people's rights or it is explicitly prohibited by law. We can only define our freedom in terms of what we're not allowed to do. Or in mathematical terms, the universal set is our freedom and specified sets within that define rights and prohibitions where true freedom does not exist.

The freedom of parents to pass on their religious beliefs to the children through processes of socialisation exists because it is not explicitly prohibited. Even the belief that Jehovah's Witnesses pass on to their children that blood transfusions are morally wrong are allowed. That such children may grow up with a restricted internal freedom as a result and choose to let themselves die rather than have the life-saving procedure is a source of anguish to someone like me who views it as a form of child abuse, albeit through the best intentions of the parents regarding their children.

1 April 2013 18:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


DanJ0. One can’t help feeling that you are fretting over people whom you believe are victims of their own freedoms. Whose children are the victims of their parents freedoms. Now, this wouldn’t be happening to you if stopped trying to define freedom, and see it for what it is, indefinable. You see, you’re defining it as what we are not allowed to do, rather than it being the opposite, that is, if you could define freedom, which you cannot.

1 April 2013 18:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, I know I've mentioned this a number of times in the past but I'll say it again here. I'm very aware that we're all products of our upbringing and our society. That's why most Hindus have Hindu parents, most Muslims have Muslim parents, and (I expect) most Christians have Christian parents. We're not truly free.

Have you read Robinson Crusoe? Now, you may not have thought about the story this much but it's indicative of its time of writing. The protagonist is a sort of ideal man, shipwrecked on a desert island into a state of nature, who survives through his own ingenuity. An aspirational model of individualism, go-getting, and entrepreneurialism, one might say. Yet he's not really, is he? He actually took with him the whole of his society in his head.

It's inevitable that we're products of our society but it's not inevitable that we remain as we were originally socialised. This is why I'm a liberal. I want people to have access to alternative ideas and alternative lifestyles so they can choose more freely. Let the ideas float largely unhindered so that the good ones might thrive in the heads of people. Yet I still worry that people are disadvantaged by their early socialisation, especially by religion which is a powerful thing as ideas go.

It's also why I have a different social attitude to some people here, and why I temper my JS Mill liberalism with a nod to the idea of positive liberty. It seems to me that many people from a disadvantaged background are limited by their perceptions of their own horizons. This is why I think government schemes to (say) promote university education and encourage people from poorer backgrounds to imagine going is a Good Thing.

1 April 2013 19:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


DanJ0. Your stance noted. This man will continue to view freedom in the abstract. Best place for it. Let nobody get their hands on it. Let nobody claim it as theirs...

1 April 2013 19:07  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

"No".

Hooray! And Hooray! So you actually do agree that it is, on the grounds of religious freedom, OK for Jews to circumcise males. It is, furthermore, OK for Jews to practice their religion, without the interference of an atheist busy body OR the State who wants to control what everyone else does!

Furthermore, you agree that you swipe about Jews not being British enough, was wrong and that British Jews actually provide great contributions to our society, despite being a minority smaller than gays! No Jewish test acts for Danjo.

He really didn't mean to write, because he was clear that Romanians and Bulgarians have a right to settle in the UK (providing, I guess that they are not Jewish and are 'British' or as he defines 'British' secular and atheist) :

"I'm British, posting from the UK, and we value the right to be free to do that here so hard luck on that."

Good. A Jew, who is gay is also gay, is now conferred as British. Excellent.. Glad that was cleared up.

Well done.

Hooray, hooray! Danjo is OK!

1 April 2013 19:33  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

PS- The reason why I quoted from that particular post was because the multi-cultralist basically implied I'm not British because I am a religious Jew. That is a red flag to a bull as far as I am concerned. I love this country. I love my faith. Our blessed Queen loves ALL of her subjects. We are loyal to our country.

1 April 2013 19:40  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 19:48  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 19:53  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Carl,

Your post at 1801 sums up matters in a more sophisticated way. As my post at 1755 noted, why if it is wrong to circumcise a male child, because the child cannot consent, why is it not wrong (as Danjo agrees) for that child to be brought up in that faith? Indeed a child cannot consent to the type of clothing or nappies they wear. But parents still choose these things for their children. Is that abuse?

Perhaps, in the atheist extreme, we need to have a situation where mother and father are simply 'breeders' and once the child is born, for children (he/she more appropriately 'it' as in a collection of cells) to be take away from them (least they be abused in some way, be it religion or circumcision).

Perhaps a government facility for them to be brought up in the 'correct' way. That 'we' Danjo often refers to in his posts.

Whilst the atheists launch their attack on faiths, why stop at Islam, Judaism or JW's. Why not, say, Calvinism? Clearly an atheist would disagree with you on Calvinism, so does this mean that I(or Danjo's royale we) should ban you from bringing up your daughters as such?

Er, no. Of course not. But that is Danjo's ultimate logic (but he would and does deny that).

1 April 2013 19:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Hooray! And Hooray! [...]"

That stack of self-indulgent crap is not evcn worth stripping down and ridiculing.

1 April 2013 20:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Serves you right for getting mixed up with that crowd DanJ0. Rather surprised they didn’t portray you as a concentration camp guard...

By the way, this man has remembered he was filled to the gills with cod liver oil as a young un. That’s worse than the Magdalene sisters...


1 April 2013 20:15  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 20:16  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Well, what do you expect? I'll defend my faith with all my might. Just like you do with you and your beliefs.Gay, atheist or not. Someone who thinks being British and Jewish is not compatible. Someone who says he is a 'liberal', but proves himself to be anything but.

And anyway, you did say you missed me. And who am I to ignore that? lol.

1 April 2013 20:18  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

"That stack of self-indulgent crap is not evcn worth stripping down and ridiculing."

Ah, so the person who demands rational and concrete argument now uses non rational and concrete argument.

Ad hominem I think it is called, although I guess to you, your posts are perfectly 'rational' etc.

Who is getting 'hysterical' now. And that is before I have given you my comprehensive reply to your attacks on Judaism.

Poor old Danjo.

1 April 2013 20:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah, it's just a stack of crap. There's no dressing it up beyond that, I'm afraid, and you ought be pretty embarrassed by it. I'll happily address arguments, but not garbage like that.

1 April 2013 20:24  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


heh heh !

Light touch paper and retire to a safe distance...

1 April 2013 20:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's like debating with a bloody schoolgirl, and a Justin Bieber fan at that.

1 April 2013 20:29  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

"Hannah, it's just a stack of crap. There's no dressing it up beyond that, I'm afraid, and you ought be pretty embarrassed by it. I'll happily address arguments, but not garbage like that."

Nah. I am seeing someone who, having failed to reply to any kind of argument has to revert to -as my sister has just said- " totally unintellectual argument (your standard you see), so unless you can give something remotely intelligent in reply you are the big looser here".

Yep!

1 April 2013 20:31  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"It's like debating with a bloody schoolgirl, and a Justin Bieber fan at that"

ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominemad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominema,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem,ad hominem!

1 April 2013 20:32  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 20:34  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Besides which, I'm a meatloaf fan.

1 April 2013 20:35  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

"heh heh !

Light touch paper and retire to a safe distance..."

That's quite a small explosive. Think bigger.

1 April 2013 20:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say types, comparing Hannah to a bloody schoolgirl is copyright Inspector General 2013, and his intellectual property.

However, as she is a bloody schoolgirl, permission granted for use of such term on this thread...

1 April 2013 20:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

You two might do worse than getting hitched to each other. Be ideal, no one bothering the other in the bedroom department. We could even go for offspring, the ‘beast in the pram’ if you will. Let’s hope for humanity’s sake the thing is sterile, what !

1 April 2013 20:49  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Oh, you have missed me! Although I'm not staying for long you know. Just a fleeting presence.

1 April 2013 20:55  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Nah. I've got a girlfriend....

1 April 2013 20:56  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"comparing Hannah to a bloody schoolgirl is copyright Inspector General 2013, and his intellectual property."

Come on Inspector, be a businessman and haggle with Danjo over your fee then!

1 April 2013 21:01  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Danjo,

Having flapped and objected to one of my posts in which I called your argument "cock", without backup or justification you now call Hannah's posts "crap"... without backup or justification

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

1 April 2013 21:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 21:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lavendon, just read it. It needs no justification to simply trash the whole thing. What is it with your family? You're like an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies when you try to engage en masse.

1 April 2013 22:01  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Danjo,

'Beuduion brady bunch' will do old chap.

"It needs no justification to simply trash the whole thing. "

Exactly what one thinks of the whole load of posts you have entertained us with.

Cherry pip old chap!

1 April 2013 22:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


DanJ0, crawl away and lick your wounds, son. You have been savaged by the religious and you did not like it. Like it you did not...


1 April 2013 22:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hardly. I've had the whole Clampett clan having to deploy to try stand up to me and it's gone into the realms of the absurd now ... and I'm not talking about their various religious beliefs, or yours, when I say that.

Let's face it, have any of them even come close to justifying the claim that I am illiberal for what I've said in any of that? No. It's basically bluster and blather throughout, full of straw man fallacies and assorted nonsense.

They simply didn't like an aspect of Judaism being criticised and, having failed to successfully deploy the victim card some Jews like to use, they tried to cast it as something fascist instead. Yet they twisted and turned like a twisty turny thing when put on the spot about whether they'd intrude on religious freedom themselves. I've savaged the lot of them on my own, and well they know it.

1 April 2013 22:54  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

DanJ0
Circumcision - an interesting topic. I for one think you made some interesting and relevant points which your 'opponents' never really addressed.

Let's see ....

Since the procedure involves surgery, albeit minor, with the attendant risks, and since it's performed on a person at a particularly vulnerable stage of development, the question should never be taken lightly.

The chief consideration is the wellbeing of the child and since he is unable to grant consent to the procedure, those responsible for him must consent on his behalf. It is not legitimate to impose a risk upon someone else without their consent, especially a newborn, without clear benefit - spiritual or physical.

Circumcision on new born male infants was practiced in the U.S.A for decades with little obvious medical justification or reported harm. It entered pediatric practice in 1900 and by 1933 approximately 32% of newborn American boys were being circumcised; and by the 1970s 91% were being circumcised. Thereafter numbers declined and by 2005 approximately 56% of infant boys were being circumcised.

What are the risks? They chiefly include hemorrhage, infection, and accidental genital mutilation. Since records of the numbers of circumcisions performed and circumcision-related complications are not kept by all hospitals, the frequency of complications cannot be known. The American Academy of Pediatrics quotes studies suggesting the frequency is as low as 0.2 to 0.6 percent; while other sources, critical of the practice, suggest a rate as high as 2 to 10 percent. Either way, the risks entailed are only legitimate to accept on behalf of a newborn when manifest benefit is clearly promised.

Is circumcision a therapeutic procedure? The Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association classifies neonatal male circumcision as a non-therapeutic procedure. Since the foreskin of the penis does not constitute a diseased condition, therapeutic intervention is not required. In the absence of extenuating circumstances, the procedure is not essential to the child's wellbeing. The evidence suggest that there are not sufficient therapeutic reasons for routinely circumcising infant boys.

What about HIV transmission? Several studies published between 2006 and 2007 demonstrate that male circumcision reduces sexual transmission of HIV from women to men by as much as 60%. The evidence in these studies seems compelling. The World Health Organization has recommended that male circumcision be included in the HIV prevention plans of
thirteen African countries.

What is the morality of circumcision? "Mutilations" performed on innocent people without sufficient reason would surely be against the moral law? Since routine circumcisions are not medically defensible are they also morally objectionable?

Some argue elective circumcision clearly violates the moral standard. They argue it is an amputation and mutilation. Since no significant medical group it as having therapeutic value, they say it violates the bodily integrity of infant male children and unnecessarily deprives them of a part of their body that can protect the glans of the penis during infancy and serve a sexual function for adults.

Circumcision as a religious rite dates back to ancient Egypt. Jews practice male circumcision as a permanent visible mark in the flesh signifying membership in the covenant community. Muslims too practice religious circumcision even though the rite is not prescribed in the Koran. Since a family's faith constitutes a very serious commitment on the part of its members, a sacred rite symbolising membership within the religious community that nurtures that faith, has a high degree of importance.

Given the minor risk of harm posed by the practice on infants, and given it appears not to impair adult sexual performance, morally it seems legitimate for Jews and Muslims to accept the risks for overriding religious reasons. For both groups the paramouncy of a right relationship with God takes precedence.

1 April 2013 23:07  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

So you are licking your wounds, as Inspector suggests, then?

I don't feel 'savaged' at all... but if it makes you feel strong and masterful then please think that.

You haven't justified why you think banning a key practise of Judaism is wrong, other than "I'm an atheist, I disagree with your religion, ergo it is wrong".

Instead you have to, in the last regard revert to personal attacks. I am now a 'schoolgirl, I write 'garbage'(an Americanism btw, I thought you were a true brit?) and 'stacks of cr*p'. Very, very intelligent and reasoned argument there. I can see why you think your world view is the right and only one. I am bowled over by your masterful use of erudite argument.

Or perhaps it is the case your reaction is not one of a master debater at all, because I always think the one who has to lower themselves to cheap insults, is the one who has lost the debate, so you really haven't "won" here at all.

1 April 2013 23:11  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"have any of them even come close to justifying the claim that I am illiberal for what I've said in any of that? No. It's basically bluster and blather throughout, full of straw man fallacies and assorted nonsense".

That's your argument done and dusted then. Please give me something intelligent to discuss and I will. But this... isn't worth the candle.

1 April 2013 23:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


DanJ0, can you see the problem ? You actually have done nothing to be condemned for tonight, if we forget about your objection to the Jewish baby circumcision. But importantly, you have been taken to task by hyperbole personified and an attempt has been made to make a demon out of you.

And yet, we cannot allow a secular society to reign free, otherwise organised religion is finished. You have been annoyed tonight. Can you imagine what it would be like if you wielded power ? Retribution and ‘special measures’ the order of the day. Don’t consider this a criticism, this man would apply the same if / when Islam becomes the problem in the UK as it is everywhere else.

One hopes David B will read this. He’s another ever so nice secularist liberal in your style, who would free the people with proscription, only in his case, he would convince himself he was doing humanity a favour. Er, you don’t intend to do humanity a favour by throwing us religious into a camp, do you ?


1 April 2013 23:38  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 April 2013 23:42  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Look up the word polemic, to see where I come from. I was going to say something else. But won't.

Pip,pip as you would say!

See you in another month or so, or whenever you start to miss me again...

Until then goodbye!

1 April 2013 23:45  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

And you can always come and say hello down at my 'absurd little blogspace'.

1 April 2013 23:46  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

DanJ0
Here is the worrying part of your posts which did gravitate towards the illiberal:

"The freedom of parents to pass on their religious beliefs to the children through processes of socialisation exists because it is not explicitly prohibited ...
That such children (JW's) may grow up with a restricted internal freedom as a result and choose to let themselves die rather than have the life-saving procedure is a source of anguish to someone like me who views it as a form of child abuse, albeit through the best intentions of the parents regarding their children."


"It's inevitable that we're products of our society but it's not inevitable that we remain as we were originally socialised. This is why I'm a liberal. I want people to have access to alternative ideas and alternative lifestyles so they can choose more freely. Let the ideas float largely unhindered so that the good ones might thrive in the heads of people. Yet I still worry that people are disadvantaged by their early socialisation, especially by religion which is a powerful thing as ideas go."

Of course the "good ones" means for you the ommision of reference to a God and would be defined without regard to some form of absolute moral code. And, as Hannah countered, you concern for parental influence could lead to:

"Perhaps, in the atheist extreme, we need to have a situation where mother and father are simply 'breeders' and once the child is born, for children (he/she more appropriately 'it' as in a collection of cells) to be take away from them (least they be abused in some way, be it religion or circumcision)."

1 April 2013 23:49  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Oh, cringe ...this camel riding variety of jew must be so embarrassing to the elite Ashkenazy jewish intellectuals.
Fun post what with a circumcised Catholic inspector ( the mind boggles:) and an uncircumcised Danjo wearing a black uniform shouting instructions in German. LOL

2 April 2013 02:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I wondered when Dodo MkII would decide it's time to make an approach.

2 April 2013 06:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2013 07:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "You actually have done nothing to be condemned for tonight, if we forget about your objection to the Jewish baby circumcision."

The objection is just in principle, too. I have made it clear here and on other threads in the past that I am not advocating change. It's just that I think there's something dubious about the religious chopping a body part off an infant simply for religious reasons. People ought to look at that fact and try to do a gestalt shift so that they see that afresh, beyond the familiar.

All this stuff about my being illiberal is nonsense on stilts. This is shown by their refusal to answer time and again whether they would advocate intervening themselves in the example of religious people refusing blood transfusions for their children simply for religious reasons. They know they can't answer that they would do so, as I expect is the truth, without undermining their case.

What we have here is some religious people demanding a special Jewish privilege of being free from criticism over a religious practice even when other religions can be, and are, criticised for some of their own religious practices, such as refusing blood transfusions for their children because of their interpretation of a passage in their Bible. For this, I'm labelled a fascist. It's not great, is it?

2 April 2013 07:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

As I said earlier is a slight thread tangent, we ought to be clarifying our position in a multicultural society so that we have principles and processes we can apply universally. Male circumcision of infants purely for religious reasons is quite dubious, on the face of it, but we need to be clear why we nevertheless accept it if we actually think it is quite dubious when we look at it dispassionately. I'm afraid "Just because it's a Jewish practice" is not enough for me, and I refuse to be silenced over questions of whether it is quite dubious simply because it is a Jewish practice.

2 April 2013 07:58  
Blogger William said...

Danj0

"Male circumcision of infants purely for religious reasons is quite dubious, on the face of it, but we need to be clear why we nevertheless accept it if we actually think it is quite dubious when we look at it dispassionately.

On the other hand, the we who don't think it is dubious when we look at it dispassionately and understand the value of doing things purely for spiritual/religious reasons can tell the illiberal secularists who like to compare it to religious practices that will put the child's life at risk in a life/death situation to "jog on".

2 April 2013 09:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well, if you see an illiberal secularist around here then point him out and explain exactly why he's illiberal.

2 April 2013 10:31  
Blogger William said...

The illiberal secularist thinks he automatically has the right to permit or ban a religious practice because religious practices in themselves have no value to society. He constantly pronounces what WE need to do/permit/ban in our liberal, free society. He lumps religious practices into a single group and will use one religious practice to determine the legitimacy, or not, of another. He thinks that his materialistic value system trumps and is the arbiter of all other systems.

J'accuse.

2 April 2013 11:26  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

I've been trying to work out who this Royal 'we' was when Danjo used the term. And he doesn't actually state why circumcision is dubious, just that it is. And I was the one who was accused of not putting up evidence to support my view. Hmmmm.

2 April 2013 12:32  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2013 12:41  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

I would also like to point out that none of us actually called Danjo a fascist, but illiberal. So I have no idea where that statement is coming from.

I think Lord Lavendon was trying to explain about this accusation of victim hood, as I did or history as it is called.

I was also trying to point out that if Jews have a sense of 'victimhood' then so does Danjo, when he referred to gays people put into prison.

That happened to Jews and worse. But Danjo doesn't have victimhood, Jews do, when they 'demand' that we are allowed to practice our religion in peace and quiet; gays 'demanding' civil rights is OK though (the 'place' atheists think religion should be is the cry to leave it in the private sphere). But reality is being shown here. It is not enough, the Jewish religion can't be in the public or private square.

2 April 2013 12:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William, I'm not recognising anyone specific there. However, perhaps you can help out here. Would you advocate State intervention in the blood transfusion example, or in the stoning of adulterers example? If so then on what basis? Also on what principles do you think we currently intervene in the refusal of blood transfusions for children by Jehovah's Witness parents, but recognise that the refusal of the parents to have blood transfusions? Might it be liberal principles by any chance?

2 April 2013 13:03  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

In respect to the issue of the freedom of religion and JW's. What I actually said was that I believe in the freedom of religion, practice and worship.

I said and still say that Danjo is being illiberal because he clearly seeks to override the religious practice of a 4,000 year old faith, because his own creed- atheism- tells him that circumsion is 'dubious'.

This illiberalism is denied and an example of a basically fringe cult of Christianity is compared and contrasted with Judaism.

Now to me I can see a clear distinction between circumcision as a religious practice and saving the life of a child via a blood transfusion or rather in the JW's case no bloodtransfusion due to religious belief ... note not a religious ritual! Two different thing entirely.

I believe in freedom of religion, but of course I also bound by and have my own ethical opinions. Based upon my religion and tradtion. For me, I would therefore disagree with the idea of not giving someone a blood transfusion in order to save their life.

It is not, however, for me to be judge and jury on these matters. These decisions are left to the courts; indeed in Judasim there is a concept called 'the law of the land is the law of the land'; in other words Jews are to resepct the legal system of the country that they are in, if they live outside of Israel.

In the UK, this is the same legal system that Danjo thinks is no good and needs to be replaced by a secular state. But for me as a Jew, it is a fair and good legal system, which does not, on the whole need to change.

This is because the legal system is robust enough to see the difference between a harmless medical procedure, based upon religious freedom and a harmful lack of medical procedure based upon a religious freedom.

My own view is that JW's should be respected for their belief on blood transfusion, but that the negative practice of doing so is at odds with my ethics.

Yet , it is the legal system which decides this, not the atheist emperor. So, if the law- and Danjo helpfully provided me with a link for this- says otherwise then JW's can either campagin for a change in the law or leave to a juristriction that favours their way of thinking.

As for Jews demanding special rights. It is not Jews who give these special rights, but gentile (non Jewish) Parliamentarians and law courts.

There is no scramble for special rights- if indeed wanting to practice a religion is now deemed a special right- because they are already bound into our constitution.

We have been in Britain since 1658 you see, so are quite accustomed to English legal and other traditions (yes Danjo, like you I am posting from the UK).

In resepct to Islamic stonings, as I suspected yesterday and as others confirmed to me today (and with my own research) Islam, like Christianity and Judaism is a diverse faith with different schools of thought and interpretations.

So to suggest that freedom of religion equals me agreeing a sect of Islam can stone people in the UK is absurd. It is also absurd because it portrays Muslims in the worst possible stereotype.

As a final note, I think looking back on it the issue of religious freedom and JW's were Danjo's ideas.

I don't think I got to explain that, simply put, circumcision for religious Jews should be accepted because our religion tells us to do so(with the history and importance of that).

I couldn't care less if Danjo doesn't believe in my G-d. He is not the Royal "we" , the arbiter of what is and is not a valid argument or belief.

2 April 2013 13:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I really wish I knew if I should be considered a victim in this discussion. A part of my body was lopped off. Without my consent or anything. Was I mutilated? Should I start looking for a lawyer and someone to sue? Granted, it will be hard for me to make a case for actual damages since I don't in fact perceive any. However, I would think that shouldn't matter. The harm done to me must be objectively demonstrable despite my perceptions. After all, my perceptions could be distorted by my upbringing. I might have been persuaded that the harm done was actually a good.

Now there is the additional complication that the morally dubious decision to mutilate my body was made for non-religious reasons. Does that mean the decision is no longer morally dubious? Are the perpetrators free of responsibility because their decision to chop me up was within the allowable bounds of a multi-cultural society? But motive isn't an element of the crime. It shouldn't legally matter why I was sliced and diced - only that I was sliced and diced. My father is dead, and certainly the doctor who performed the act as well. But my Mom is still alive. Perhaps I should haul her into court and have her punished for this egregious act of child abuse.

I'm a victim, after all.

So perhaps we should look at this sentence to gain enlightenment...

Male circumcision of infants purely for religious reasons is quite dubious

.. and ask ourselves which clause should be emphasized. How important is that clause 'for religious reasons.' Why is circumcision quite dubious for religious reasons, but not for other reasons? Mutilation is mutilation. Is for example a precautionary hygienic motive also dubious? Does that meet a moral threshold such that mutilation becomes allowable? Couldn't that decision also be deferred until an appropriate age of consent? If the practice is objectively mutilating, then it should not be permitted for any reason not related to saving a life. There isn't any other reason to allow it, and the consistent position would be to suppress the practice without regard.

But what if we just call it morally dubious yet fortunately benign? Well, if it's benign it isn't mutilating. It's like clipping finger nails. Why then are we even talking about it? Because the case does present the opportunity to assert broad control over the religious decisions that parents make on behalf of their children. By saying it is allowable (if dubious) the secularist grants himself the implicit right to decide what is allowable "for religious reasons" and what is not. And he will rigidly decide the issue according to secularist understandings of what is good, right, and true. There is no neutral ground between worldviews, you see. The sentence above then could be read.

[Insert action here] purely for religious reasons is quite dubious

Because all religious reasons are dubious. Because religion is merely a wish-fulfilling construct of the human mind that has no tangible reality. Because religion must never be allowed to leave an irreversible footprint. And that is the point.

When you think about it, circumcision (from a secularist perspective) is one of the more benign outcomes of religion. It's the presuppositions and the worldview that does the real long-term damage. Allowing children to be raised in such an environment 'for purely religious reasons' is truly dubious indeed. Someone should do something about that.

carl

2 April 2013 15:12  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

The attack is against the rights and responsibilities of parents to be custodians of their children's wellbeing free from unnecessary State intrusion.

There is no evidence infant circumcision, for religious or any other reasons, causes a degree of suffering or harm sufficient to interfere with a parent's right to decide.

Here's the real threat to civil liberty being presented:

"The freedom of parents to pass on their religious beliefs to the children through processes of socialisation exists because it is not explicitly prohibited."

That's precisely an inversion of the correct relationship between the State and its members. The right exists and the State can only intrude if it shows just cause.

Then we get to the heart of the case:

"That such children (JW's) may grow up with a restricted internal freedom as a result and choose to let themselves die rather than have the life-saving procedure is a source of anguish to someone like me who views it as a form of child abuse, albeit through the best intentions of the parents regarding their children."

Now the transmission of religious belief becomes a restriction on development and growth, it limits possibilities, and, as such, is abusive!

And then the anti-theism surfaces:

"I want people to have access to alternative ideas and alternative lifestyles so they can choose more freely. Let the ideas float largely unhindered so that the good ones might thrive in the heads of people. Yet I still worry that people are disadvantaged by their early socialisation, especially by religion which is a powerful thing as ideas go."

So who would oversee this unhindered floating of ideas? Who would ensure children were not disadvantaged by receiving a morality and a belief in God from their parents? The State?

There is a wealth of evidence that having a faith results in greater happiness, and emotional and physical wellbeing, when compared to those with no faith.

2 April 2013 16:33  
Blogger Jon said...

Hannah, I think you're in danger of using up all your victim cards in one thread!

I think Danj0's points have actually been pretty reasonable, but perhaps your socialisation is too strong to perceive them as anything other than an attack on your faith.

You refuse to consider the Jehovah's Witness example. What then of female circumcision? There's no doubt that it's a far more intrusive, dangerous and serious condition (I would say, monstrous), but should tribes in Africa be allowed to practice it purely because it's a religious imperative?

Since you're a right thinking person, i'm going to assume that the answer is "No, I don't believe that parents have a right to mutilate a young girl in that way".

In which case, you accept DanJ0's argument about considering the relative rights of the different parties, but are seeking an exemption for one of two reasons;

1. That male circumcision is in some way "beneficial" (an argument I don't think you've made here) or

2. That male circumcision is incumbent on good Jewish parents.

If your sole basis for support for male circumcision is point 2, then I'm afraid you have no basis to rail against female genital mutilation at all.

As has been pointed out, weighing the relative rights of parties to something is important in liberal societies. I think it's a shame when blokes have the chop, but it doesn't harm them in the same way female genital mutilation does. However, I am able to see this nuance because I subscribe to a view of considering things on their own merits, rather than seeking to shut down discussion by leaning on the actions of fascists past to justify anything I want to do.

2 April 2013 16:46  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Jon
The argument is that it is a parents perogative to care for their child's spiritual, physical, and emotional welfare in whatever way they see fit unless there is demonstrable harm, physical, moral or mental, sufficient for the State to intervene and restrict that right. The exercise of parental rights and responsibilities is a cornerstone of a free society.

Circumcision doesn't meet the threshhold to intrude (it is still offered as an elective treatment in some secular hospitals), whereas female genital mutilation does and, in certain instances determined by a Court, so would withholding medical treatment such as a blood transfusion where death was a predictable outcome.

2 April 2013 17:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "I said and still say that Danjo is being illiberal because he clearly seeks to override the religious practice of a 4,000 year old faith, because his own creed- atheism- tells him that circumsion is 'dubious'."

You're away with the faeries [1] now. I've explicitly stated on this thread and on others that I am not advocating a social change here yet here you are creating yet another straw man to attack.

[1] That's an idiom, it's nothing to do with your homosexuality, or mine. Lol, etc. Oh how we laughed, etc.

"This illiberalism is denied and an example of a basically fringe cult of Christianity is compared and contrasted with Judaism."

You have tried to make a case of my being illiberal based on intrusion into religious freedom. I presented you and your family with the horns of a dilemma and you all hung right back, dithering like a dithery thing. That was not comparing Judaism with Jehovah's Witnesses, it was a counter-argument about being illiberal using an example of intrusion into religious freedom. Well, you've decided that you've dithered enough now. You've decided to fling yourself onto one of the horns, preferring to be seen as willing to sacrifice the life of a child rather than intrude. Well, good for you there. I think that I'd prefer to be labelled "illiberal" albeit just in Kavanagh-speak than be what you are there.

"It is not, however, for me to be judge and jury on these matters."

Hannah, the whole point of debates like this is to put your ideas up for scrutiny and test them. To all intents and purposes, you are indeed the advocate of the decisions one way or the other. There is no "atheist emperor" here, what I have done is make an argument in front of an adverse crowd, pointing at this and that to justify what I am saying. That's all.

[...]

2 April 2013 17:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

[...]

"There is no scramble for special rights- if indeed wanting to practice a religion is now deemed a special right- because they are already bound into our constitution."

You've lost the context there. I was saying that you're effectively demanding a special privilege just for Jews for your religion and its practices to be exempt from criticism.

"In resepct to Islamic stonings, as I suspected yesterday and as others confirmed to me today (and with my own research) Islam, like Christianity and Judaism is a diverse faith with different schools of thought and interpretations."

This is a non sequitur. Some extremist Muslims advocate stoning adulterers as punishment under Sharia. It happens in other parts of the world. Whether other Muslims disagree is neither here nor there to my argument.

"So to suggest that freedom of religion equals me agreeing a sect of Islam can stone people in the UK is absurd. It is also absurd because it portrays Muslims in the worst possible stereotype. "

If the religious can define their own religious freedom, and you advocate that, then on what basis can you deny extremist Muslims the freedom to do exactly that? Clearly, the rest of us who are not extremist Muslims who advocate that form of Sharia are using other values/ethics to overrule that freedom. I think those are liberal values/ethics and I think I can successfully argue that intrusion into that religious freedom is consistent with liberal philosophy, contrary to what you seem to believe.

"In the UK, this is the same legal system that Danjo thinks is no good and needs to be replaced by a secular state."

Hannah, you're simply making that up. What does it gain you there? In reality, I'm arguing from the existing legal system. For example, I look at the exemptions for Sikhs from some aspects of health and safety law and the reasons given at the time why those exemptions where made.

"I don't think I got to explain that, simply put, circumcision for religious Jews should be accepted because our religion tells us to do so(with the history and importance of that)."

If I were an extremist Muslim who believes in a form of Sharia which allows the stoning fo adulterers then why shouldn't that be excepted as I expect they'd claim that their religion tells them to do so, with the history and importance of that? We all know the answer to that, don't we? Even you do, really.

2 April 2013 17:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo MkII, on yer bike.

2 April 2013 17:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



DanJ0. You seem to have religious circumcision by the teeth, refusing to let go, so to speak. The Inspector will let you in on a secret. It’s this JW blood thing. The stance this man admits to is that he doesn’t have one on that subject. Never did have – even when it made the news and this then boy was the same age as the luckless ‘victim’ requiring blood. There are a few items in life where it is best to just walk away and not get involved. Leave it for someone else – metaphorically wash one’s hands of the problem. Highly recommend you do this with religious circumcision.

Besides, it pales into nothing when compared to a very highly dubious practice – abortion. Before we give rights to the born, let’s give some consideration to the unborn. Theirs is more the urgent…





2 April 2013 19:43  
Blogger William said...

Danj0

"I'm not recognising anyone specific there."

I would be surprised if you did.

"Would you advocate State intervention in the blood transfusion example, or in the stoning of adulterers example? If so then on what basis?"

In the case of an emergency that would be standard medical practise for the emergency treatment of children. In the case of stoning that would be English laws w.r.t. murder.

"Also on what principles do you think we currently intervene in the refusal of blood transfusions for children by Jehovah's Witness parents, but recognise that the refusal of the parents to have blood transfusions?"

In fact this is a bit of a non-starter because there are ways in which JW children with Leukemia, for example, can be given blood transfusions without contravening their religious rules. However, in principle I accept that the state should sometimes intervene where a child's life depends on it. With regards to the adult I think that informed consent comes into play.

"Might it be liberal principles by any chance?

Yes, and they evolved from Biblical ones.

NB Adults don't have to be religious to object to medical treatments being done to their children.

For instance:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/18/neon-roberts-cancer-ruling-judge

2 April 2013 20:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "There are a few items in life where it is best to just walk away and not get involved. Leave it for someone else – metaphorically wash one’s hands of the problem."

The right of the child creates concomitant duties on the State. The State cannot simply wash its hands of the problem while the right exists. Or rather, it neglects its duty if it does. However, a State operating on JS Mill style liberal principles has a duty to the fully aware adult who refuses a transfusion to let him do so. That is, the State allows the adult to martyr himself for religious reasons if he so wishes but he may not martyr the child.

2 April 2013 20:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2013 20:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "However, in principle I accept that the state should sometimes intervene where a child's life depends on it."

But on what basis? Why would your religious principles trump theirs? Oh for sure, you can try to weasel your way out of it with this:

"Yes, and they evolved from Biblical ones."

but they're not Biblical principles in reality, are they? The courts aren't reaching for a copy of a Bible to check when they act. They're based on ethics which are not grounded in religious principles, they're essentially liberal ones.

2 April 2013 20:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJo. Quite correct. The state has a duty of locum parentis where a child has not reached its majority. But wait, one remembers kicking Jon’s arse over this. The state is US, not a distinct entity on it’s own. Should it ever achieve that later status, then it becomes the locum parentis of ALL of us.

Chilling prospect. One hopes you agree, as no doubt JS Mill would...

2 April 2013 21:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm thinking more of parens patriae rather than in loco parentis.

2 April 2013 21:19  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Jon,

I don't feel like a victim. Danjo has a reasonable argument? That's why I am school girl, full of crap, etc etc... isn't it? Good logical and reasoned argument there.

2 April 2013 22:05  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Danjo,

Sad to say that you haven't read my post at all.

The problem is that you see all religions in "a dicto simpliciter" manner.

Your comparison between JW's views on blood and Judaism's view on circumcision is in itself a non sequitur. Or comparing Apples and Oranges. Not the same fruit.

And, you also make things up, as you clearly didn't read :

"I can see a clear distinction between circumcision as a religious practice and saving the life of a child via a blood transfusion or rather in the JW's case no bloodtransfusion due to religious belief ... note not a religious ritual! Two different thing entirely."

And then :

"My own view is that JW's should be respected for their belief on blood transfusion, but that the negative practice of doing so is at odds with my ethics."

Also , are you able to answer the question. Why is religious circumcision dubious in the first place?

You have not answered that... "dithering like a dithery thing"...

because you can't admit that you just don't like religion full stop; religion is wrong, Judaism circumcises males, therefore that is wrong. That is the real reason you object to it. All else is bluster and hot air.

2 April 2013 22:06  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Jon,

"What then of female circumcision?"

non sequitur. Jews don't "circumcise" females and you know it.

2 April 2013 22:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. The Inspector IS impressed. You see, he always had you down as a Latin dilettante...

2 April 2013 23:04  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Inspector

'Parens patriae' is the secular atheist's Trojan Horse when it comes to achieving a State coerced morality - which is no morality at all because it removes volition and the exercise of conscience.

3 April 2013 00:52  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 April 2013 01:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jon

You refuse to consider the Jehovah's Witness example. What then of female circumcision?

The two examples cited both entail the infliction of real tangible harm. The man who requires a blood transfusion will die without it. A clitoridectomy destroys a woman's ability to experience sexual pleasure. I will even throw in for free Christian Science as a third example. Refusing medical treatment for meningitis will cause death. The duty to protect in each case proceeds from the reality of harm, and the harm inflicted in each case listed above is obvious.

So what harm was inflicted upon me when I was circumcised? This should be a simple question to answer. If there is a duty to protect from circumcision, then there must quantifiable harm associated with circumcision. Your side of the argument has simply assumed such a duty exists without defining the harm that forms its foundation. So what is it? I am your victim. Tell me the harm that I must have suffered because this procedure was inflicted upon me. If refusal of a blood transfusion, and a clitoridectomy are both valid parallels, then there must be a parallel concept of harm. It must afflict equally all those who undergo the procedure. As I said, it should be a simple question to answer.

Circumcision is in fact a procedure with positive health benefits. In the absence of any quantifiable harm, parents are well within their proper scope of authority to trade the current risk of circumcision against those future benefits. Different parents may evaluate the trade space differently. That doesn't make the trade space inherently immoral. If that reality is ever once acknowledged, this whole 'duty to protect' argument collapses. So I don't think that the 'harm' envisioned has anything to do with bodily integrity. No, I think the 'harm' inflicted is an offense against personal autonomy. But parents violate the personal autonomy of a child all the time. It is indeed their responsibility to do so. Why then is this case of circumcision so special?

Why indeed?

carl

3 April 2013 05:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Your comparison between JW's views on blood and Judaism's view on circumcision is in itself a non sequitur. Or comparing Apples and Oranges. Not the same fruit."

Again, I am not comparing the two views at all. The blood transfusion example is being used as a counter-argument to show an intrusion into religious freedom which most people would think was acceptable. Not you, though. You've finally bitten the bullet and decided you'd sacrifice the child's life rather than intrude using principles external to the religion. Luckily for the child, the legal system in the UK takes the other view.

As for the bit you think I didn't read, I read it and simply snorted. My argument isn't dependent on both being a ritual, it's about religious freedom, your ring-fencing of it, and the label of 'illiberal'. Unfortunately, you don't seem to grasp that, simple and straightforward though it is. There's little value in itself in repeatedly banging your head against the wall but it does bring out the fact that most of us are quite content to judge religious practices which are not our own by a non-religious standard.

3 April 2013 06:19  
Blogger William said...

Danj0

But on what basis?

On the basis that the Bible says that human life is important to God and that a child's life is particularly precious. What is your basis?

"Why would your religious principles trump theirs?"

I cannot claim that my religious principles trump theirs. I can only put forward the Christian perspective.

As another example, I also object to the religious (and non-religious) practice of child sacrifice on the same basis. It turns out that in modern China, and in some other cultures too, they practice the sacrifice of female infants to God-knows-what! This also occurs in our liberal, multi-cultural abortion clinics. Do you object to abortions on the basis of gender? If so, on what basis?

On what basis are we to judge the liberal case for abortion?

3 April 2013 11:13  
Blogger Jon said...

Hannah - come on, it's not a non sequitur. Both are practices advocated by various religions. Also, i didn't say you were a schoolgirl (I have no idea how old you are?!) but I don't think your age exempts you from a requirement to frame a reasonable argument! You're clearly not five!

Peter Damian - you have made my point for me. Hannah isn't claiming that circumcision is right *because it does no harm*, she is claiming it's right *because her religion tells her so*. On this basis, any religious person can justify anything (including female genital mutilation). I don't disagree with your view of the relative case for intervention versus harm in the case of male circumcision, but it's not an argument being advanced by Hannah, so it's not one she can rely on!

Inspector, you huff and you puff, but you've never kicked my ass on anything! Come on now, old boy, is your memory as well as your critical faculty failing you?! ;-) I remember a time when you blessed my having children because of my means and nice middle class upbringing. You've climbed down from that one!

3 April 2013 17:23  
Blogger Jon said...

Carl - I agree with you to a certain extent. Evidence of "harm" is relative (without wishing to be crude, there are suggestions from friends who've had the chop in adulthood of a distinct diminution in sensation). Set against this, there are definite health benefits in countries without access to proper sanitation (and maybe some conference of reduced HIV transmission where relevant).

However, the point is that the religious of certain cultures aren't circumcising their kids because it's healthy. They're doing it because book(s) that are thousands of years old told them that God thinks it's important. On this basis, it's tough for the religious to condemn actions of parents, or indeed other states who act according to religious imperative. For instance, His Grace regularly draws attention to the plight of Christians in Muslim countries. But how can Christians be aggrieved - these authorities are only acting on what they perceive to be the instructions of their respective holy book? On what basis are they then to be condemned by Christians or Jews willing to act solely on the basis of instruction from their own holy books?

Surely, in drawing attention to Pastor Nadarkhani, His Grace is infringing upon the divinely inspired duty of the Islamic Republic to protect its people from apostasy?! At least Liberals have the "relative harm" argument to fall back on, literalist interpretation of any holy book allows no such latitude!

3 April 2013 17:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "On the basis that the Bible says that human life is important to God and that a child's life is particularly precious."

Given that most people in the UK aren't Bible-believing Christians, I expect you're going to undermine the State's authority. At present, I recognise the State's authority because it appears to be acting on our collective behalf in matters like this.

"What is your basis?"

The question was about the State's basis for intervention. That said, I'm a liberal and the State operates for the most part according to liberal principles. One of those principles is that it respects identity, which is partly why the religious have the freedom they do.

"I cannot claim that my religious principles trump theirs. I can only put forward the Christian perspective."

If you're advocating that the State operates in line with Christian beliefs, despite lots of our citizens have non-Christian religious beliefs, then that's exactly what you're claiming. Luckily, most of our ethics are shared so even if your supporting reasons for those ethics are different to mine, as they surely are, then we can share space and live under the same social structure.

3 April 2013 18:24  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Danjo :

"the fact that most of us are quite content to judge religious practices which are not our own by a non-religious standard."

'Tyranny of the majority anyone?'

3 April 2013 19:02  

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