Thursday, June 06, 2013

Is Anglicanism still the State Religion in England?


A guest post by Dr Andrew Lilico:

Here is a sine qua non for a religion’s being de facto the state religion: conduct in accordance with the orthodox requirements of that religion must be at the very least presumed legal. For example, Roman Catholicism could not truly be the state religion if it were illegal to teach your children the doctrine of transubstantiation, or illegal to attend confession. Sunni Islam could not be the state religion if it were legally mandatory to worship the King as a god, or mandatory for all schoolchildren to submit drawings of Mohammed in an annual art competition. We could perhaps imagine some conduct required by the state religion to be accidentally prohibited by law, but when that was pointed out the law would have to be changed so that that conduct became permitted or the requirements of the state religion would have to be changed so that conduct was not required — otherwise there would be no content to the claim that this religion was actually the state religion.

Here is a fact: conduct in accordance with the orthodox requirements of Anglican Christianity is not presumed legal. That is the clear and explicit statement in a number of recent legal cases. I shall quote you from the judges statements in two such cases. First, consider McFarlane vs Relate Avon Limited (Case No: A2/2009/2733 in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), 29/04/2010). In his judgement, Lord Justice Laws stated (paragraph 23ff):
…the liturgy and practice of the established Church are to some extent prescribed by law. But the conferment of any legal protection or preference upon a particular substantive moral position on the ground only that it is espoused by the adherents of a particular faith, however long its tradition, however rich its culture, is deeply unprincipled…The promulgation of law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified…The precepts of any one religion – any belief system – cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other…So it is that the law must firmly safeguard the right to hold and express religious belief; equally firmly, it must eschew any protection of such a belief's content in the name only of its religious credentials.
To assure you that this is not simply the eccentric view of one isolated judge, here is another case: Hall & Preddy vs Bull & Bull (Case No 9BS02095 & 9BS02096 in the Bristol County Court, 18/01/2011). The judgement stated (paragraph 8ff):
Whatever may have been the position in past centuries it is no longer the case that our laws must, or should, automatically reflect the Judaeo- Christian position.
The judge went on to observe that the conduct under question in the case arose because of what the defendants understood to be the conduct required of Christians:
I have no doubt, and the point was not seriously pursued by the claimants, that the defendants genuinely hold a perfectly orthodox Christian belief…
I want to emphasize here that the key point at issue is not whether this or that specific conduct should or should not be legal. The key point is whether, as a matter of law, conduct which the judges accept to be in accordance with the requirements of Christianity (and Anglicanism in particular) is to be presumed legal. The judges are absolutely clear and explicit that that is not so.

So, for a religion to in fact be a state religion, conduct required by that religion must be presumed legal, or perhaps even actually always legal. But conduct judges accept is required by Christianity is not presumed legal in England. Therefore, Anglican Christianity is not, de facto, the state religion in England.

What, then, of the parish system, or the Bishops in the Lords, or the Queen being the Supreme Governor of the Church? Mere flummery and deceit, if adherents of the state religion cannot legally conduct themselves in accordance with its orthodox requirements. It is rather like the difference between a ritual monarchy and a constitutional monarchy. If the monarch has no constitutional role, but is merely a device for pageantry, then de facto the constitutional system is not monarchy. Similarly, if being a “state religion” is purely a matter of appearance, and has no legal impact, then in the constitutional sense there is no state religion.

Worse than that, actually. For if the pageantry of the state religion is not matched by legal substance, then it is a damaging pretence, for it makes people believe that there is in fact some substantive state religion when there is not. The Anglican Bishops etc then become qualitatively equivalent (though obviously not – or not yet – equivalent in degree) to the placemen priest-spies of the Soviet era, whose role was to placate the truly religious and keep them quiet and in a place the authorities could observe and control them.

When did this happen? When did we decide that Anglican Christian conduct was no longer to be presumed legal? When was the public debate, or the debate in Parliament on that? Is that truly what either the public or the British Establishment wants?

Anglican Christians have become overly fixated on narrow points — about this moral issue or that. What we need to spend more time highlighting is the over-arching point: that Anglican Christianity has ceased to be the state religion in any but a pageantry sense, and almost no-one has noticed or complained.

Andrew Lilico

146 Comments:

Blogger Hugues said...

Nice one Andrew, you're posting here now and I think you make an excellent and appropriate 'guest'.

The 'state' is managing to win the battle of asserting itself as god, and few understand what is going on.

6 June 2013 09:44  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Anglicanism is not the "State Religion". It is an expression of Christianity. The Church of England is supposed to uphold the Catholic Faith as expressed in the creeds of the universal church. The state professes to uphold something called the Protestant Religion, although that looks exceedingly peculiar currently, seeing as politicians are queuing up to throw it to the four winds.

6 June 2013 09:46  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

I regard the CofE like the BBC Third Programme. I don't use it much myself, but I'm glad it's there.

6 June 2013 09:46  
Blogger Douglas McLellan said...

How can there be a state religion where the various parts of the state have different religious institutions and different legal systems?

6 June 2013 09:54  
Blogger Bob said...

Hello there Andrew, and thank you for the post.

But let us not forget that nothing lasts forever, that ideas and beliefs come and go, flare up and fade away. This is all perfectly normal and part of the natural order of things. I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is clinging onto things - people, ideas, the past etc. - that causes us to suffer. Just relax and let it go, The sky won't fall in.

Peace

6 June 2013 09:57  
Blogger David B said...

"... is the over-arching point: that Anglican Christianity has ceased to be the state religion in any but a pageantry sense..."

While it is true that Christianity in general, and Anglican Christianity in particular, is declining in influence, Anglican influence started at a higher point than the other sects, and all of them still have far too much privilege.

Why should, just for one example, churchgoers be afforded free parking on a Sunday, while others going about their business and pay their parking charges subsidise them?

I'm glad to see that this is one of the issues which the NSS is quite rightly addressing.

David

6 June 2013 10:44  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

"So it is that the law must firmly safeguard the right to hold and express religious belief; equally firmly, it must eschew any protection of such a belief's content in the name only of its religious credentials."

All well and good......but why is it that someone can freely & publicly denounce, for example, Christianity and question its tenets and the nature of Christ whilst at the same time no-one can question Mohamed, draw his picture or publish it or denounce the cult of Islam without fear of arrest and prosecution for hate speech?

Why can Muslims and Sikhs wear religious adornment and (in the latters case)avoid wearing crash helmets when Christians are forbidden to wear a cross, must wear a crash helmet and are frequently required to take down the national flag and symbol of our patron Saint?

Why has FGM been tolerated? Honour killing and violence ignored? Halal slaughter allowed ion a civilised nation? Hate speech tolerated from Mosques up and down the country? Bigamy not only tolerated but rewarded under the Welfare system?

I could go on.

As for the CofE being our state religion then I am afraid that ship sailed a long time ago.

It is all pomp and circumstance now....and we are all the poorer for it.

It falls to the British people to do something about it and that must start at the ballot box and, if frustrated by the political "elite", by taking to the streets and taking back our country.

6 June 2013 10:47  
Blogger Nick said...

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6 June 2013 11:04  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Time, perhaps, to focus on the Church IN England, rather than the Church OF England.

6 June 2013 11:42  
Blogger Julian Mann said...

Thank you very much indeed for this Mr Lilico - surely what would help to save the Church of England's established status from Sovietisation is a refusal by its Supreme Governor to assent to the same-sex marriage Act. Yes it would spark a constitutional crisis if she were to put her coronation oath to Jesus Christ above the dictates of political correctness but arguably this is a crisis our country needs to have for the sake of future generations, God willing.

6 June 2013 11:44  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

This happened when Britain sold its birthright for a mess of potage (gruel?) and embraced Europe.

6 June 2013 11:56  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Andrew,
'The over-arching point: that Anglican Christianity has ceased to be the state religion in any but a pageantry sense, and almost no-one has noticed or complained'.
Your seemingly well presented case is a welcome read. I am not a lawyer but have observed society since the late 40's and I concur with what you say.
Whereas the CofE has languished in the depths of society’s consideration, it is no surprise when you consider the leadership of the same. In the 50's and 60's there was a move of revival in some sectors of the church but as ever, the leaders did not want to be left behind or lose their tradition, neither could they become part of it through lack of faith.
The hierarchy of the CofE is in many ways inherited from the Church of Rome and Whilst Cranmer and many other reformists corrected the statements of faith in accordance with the new protestant faith, the manner of the hierarchy stayed the same. Thus, with a week church that was more concerned with its own propagation rather than the propagation of the gospel, the church has lost credibility in the eyes of society. So why should the law and the lay people of the land give credence to an organisation/religion when they are so complacent about their own faith. The failure of Christians to stand up and be counted over SSM is an example.
Other denominations have fared better (but not by much) to avoid the pitfalls of the CofE when it comes to their management.
If the CofE is to survive, it must clear the decks of its traditionalist back office that drives the spiritual and obtain a live born again leadership that the world can appreciate and give credence to.

6 June 2013 11:57  
Blogger Chris, St. Albans said...

First they came for the Socialists, and Bob didn't speak out because Bob said:
"I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is clinging onto things - people, ideas, the past etc. - that causes us to suffer. Just relax and let it go, The sky won't fall in. Peace."

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and Bob didn't speak out because Bob said:
"I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is clinging onto things - people, ideas, the past etc. - that causes us to suffer. Just relax and let it go, The sky won't fall in. Peace."

Then they came for the Jews, and Bob did not speak out because Bob said:
"I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is clinging onto things - people, ideas, the past etc. - that causes us to suffer. Just relax and let it go, The sky won't fall in. Peace."

They they came for Bob and everyone said:
"I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is clinging onto things - people, ideas, the past etc. - that causes us to suffer. Just relax and let it go, The sky won't fall in. Peace."

Just in case, my point is not that the current situation is in any way similar to Martin Niemoeller's, but simply that Bob's little homily is facile.

6 June 2013 12:04  
Blogger Corrigan said...

The Church of England is, firstly, just that - of England. To my knowledge, it was never established anywhere else as the state church. Certainly not in Scotland, which has never had a formally established church, and the Church of Ireland was disestablished way back in the 1860s.

I'm not saying this now as a beard, but as a genuine enquiry - why is this chimera of a church still in existence? What is its purpose? Even its titular head, Queen Elizabeth, attends the Kirk when in Scotland rather than the Scottish Episcopal Church, despite the fact that the CofS is Presbyterian. So why are Anglicans trying to prop up an institution which was created by a libidinous old whoremonger purely for reasons of state which have long since ceased to apply. As a Christian church, it has no relevance in and of itself. The obvious course is for high Anglicans to cross the Tiber and come back home, and the rest can praise the Lord and join the evangelicals. Either way, staying with the CofE is not a proper act for a Christian.

6 June 2013 12:08  
Blogger Nick said...

Julian Mann 11:44

Good point. I feel that with the CoE and the bishops constantly being almost apologetic about their faith , it needs some someone, perhaps HMQ, to dig their heels in and make a stand for God.

We should understand as Christians that being meek is not the same as being a doormat. We must stop being apologetic and deferential to this false god of political correctness.

Our society is founded on Christian principles. Without them, we probably wouldn't be here at all, and we may yet lose our nationhood as those who are slavishly devoted to the EU lead us towards our loss of identity and our becoming euro-drones.

6 June 2013 12:18  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Harry-ca-Nab (10:47)—We have to tolerate the hate speech that pours out of mosques because it is the word of Allah and, as Lord Laws says, ‘the law must firmly safeguard the right to hold and express religious belief’. It must be great to be a Muslim—you can wallow in hatred for the infidel and tell the whole world about it but, in the words of the Blessed Ken Dodd, ‘they can’t touch you for it’. Sean Thomas contrasted the authorities’ different treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims in this blog just yesterday.

6 June 2013 12:18  
Blogger David Hussell said...

A useful and well argued post Andrew, so thank you.
As has been said the C of E has had weak leadership for a very long time. It has been concerned with outward appearances of business as usual, instead of challenging undesirable trends in society, preaching the gospel and remaining truly orthodox, reformed and catholic. The overwhelming majority of the leadership has acceded to societal trends hoping thereby to be popular, but retreat in the face of opposition hardly ever works. The Church is strong when it defines itself against the world, being seem to offer something radically different. It is that simple point that the bulk of the Anglican hierarchy has choosen to ignore. There will eventually come a kick back against the destructive permissiveness and hopelessness of our society, and I hope that a strong remaining core of Christianity will be ready to respond to that challenge, when the time is propitious. But first it must put its own house in order and become again, The Church IN England, as was said above.

6 June 2013 12:28  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 June 2013 12:44  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Don' worry folks if the government wants to privatise the courts, I am sure it will get round to doing the same with the C of E, will all of that property and assets, it should reduce the fiscal deficit (we are all in this together afterall).

Vicars wouldn't be working for Jesus or the Queen but some private equity firm or some sovereign wealth fund from the middle east.

Ironic that the end of the C of E, would mirror how it came about.

6 June 2013 12:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Was about to ask what ever happened to you. Can't have you running around other blogs. Busy with charm school exams?

6 June 2013 12:46  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

As a PS, I think the C of E has to decide if it is an actual religion first or is there to be a some form of social reflection of England. I think it wishes to be a social reflection of England, as it seems to be very OK with changing its theology to 'fit in'.

6 June 2013 12:51  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 June 2013 13:00  
Blogger Bob said...

I love this blog for the considered arguments and the excellent quality of the writing, although I often disagree the arguments. However I never fail to be surprised at how much anger is simmering away in His Grace's communicants - it's really not healthy.

It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, we live in a prosperous and peaceful country compared to the vast majority of the world, and I think sometimes you guys forget that. The world is a joyous and beautiful place!

Impermanence is the nature of all things, and sometimes that can be scary, but true inner peace comes from accepting that change and transformation are natural and inevitable processes.

As Proust wrote: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

Peace.

6 June 2013 13:08  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

’So it is that the law must firmly safeguard the right to hold and express religious belief; equally firmly, it must eschew any protection of such a belief's content in the name only of its religious credentials’.

An excellent incisive post that cuts through the crap and tells it as it is.

What has been lost during the past decades is what best described our national character and for that matter our unique 'culture'.
We are facing not just the emergence of another variation of the Christian religion, but an entirely different, self contained life-style, under the jurisdiction of Sharia and endorsed by the immutable context of the Koran. If they achieve their stated desires, Mullahs will replace judges. An Ayatollah will be head of religion and state and out traditional laws will be re-written to stand in perpetuity, protected by law from opposition, criticism, ridicule or review. If left unchallenged, it will matter not a jot what the government privatises in the short term.

We on this island happen to be majority white skinned, culturally Christianised practising(or not), Europeans and rightly proud to be so; we can’t change those facts, that is who historically and presently, we are. 'We' and I use the word to describe my atheist secular self as well as no doubt others of religious leanings, grew up essentially to be patriotic, loyal, religiously, racially and immigrant tolerant. But whereas before, we and incomers had been exhorted and encouraged to be accepting of our different backgrounds and work towards a common goal of integration: in other words to be first and foremost - 'British'. I was happy with that.

Then, without warning and without consultation, discussion or explanation we were TOLD that we were now a multicultural country.

That was a total contradiction to what we had erstwhile believed to be the moral high-ground in the matter of accepting the merits of welcoming 'new blood' and talent, that would hopefully contribute much towards building a productive, cohesive and pluralistic society.

I hold the CoE as the constitutionally recognised cultural religion, to have been deeply remiss and terminally compliant in its and our own cultural uncertainty, by ushering in with welcome arms, a cult religion with an overtly non-pluralistic 'combative' politically theocratic character ; the antithesis of the evolved place of the Christian religion in the cultural heritage of this country.

If there had been any legitimate atheist body as large, organised or as established as the CoE, that had made a stand against ‘yet another religion on our shores’, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Churches including British Jewry and sundry do-gooders, would have condemned ‘them’ for being unilaterally, anti-religion extremists, racist Nazi-fascists or a combination of both. If ever there was an exemplary case of the fallacy of believing 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' kind of logic, this is it.

The shameful mess we are leaving for future generations to inherit that which is theirs, is largely due to the lack of the Churches' and the Monarch's political relevance. In my opinion they have jointly failed to assert their own primacy as part of the essential fabric of what constitutes British Culture. This has been compounded by the greedy, self-serving political classes and other social manipulators who with their deliberate ploys, deny us our true heritage and still fail to pay due regard to the value of our culture at home and abroad in the making and shaping of Western and world history.

6 June 2013 13:08  
Blogger Flossie said...

Here is a piece by the delightfully un-PC Revd Peter Mullen entitled 'Blind Guides'.

And this is law, I do aver, until my dying day; that whatsoever king may reign I’ll still be the Vicar of Bray…

Or Bishop of the diocese in which all our Brays are set.

We should not be surprised at the depressing news that the church fixers in the cloisters of power have frightened the Bishops by their threat that for them to vote en bloc against homosexual “marriage” might lead to them losing their places in the House of Lords. In these diminished days when prelates are no longer burned at the stake for their principles, there is nothing so concentrates the mind of a Bishop as the fear that he will lose status. The present set up is only the natural consequence of the nationalisation of the church under Henry VIII. Bishops and Synods will make token protests against government innovations in the realm of public morality; but they will always capitulate in the end, salving their pretended consciences by telling themselves and us that they are being charitable as Christ commanded.

The Archbishop of Canterbury deserves our thanks and congratulations for speaking against “Gay” “marriage” in the Lords yesterday. But his action merely resembles that of the night-watchman entering the field in the encircling gloom in the hope of prolonging his side’s innings a little longer. For the Church of England always ends up following the secular trend - only, like some obedient Prince Consort, one dutiful pace behind. (more ...)

6 June 2013 13:19  
Blogger Flossie said...

(contd) ... That the Bishops, the senior clergy and above all the powerful ecclesiastical commissars in the central bureaucracy are Lefties, fully subscribed to socialistic public policies is unsurprising. The Left captured the Establishment in the 1960s and they have ruthlessly promoted their own kind ever since. A traditionalist among Bishops is now a curiosity and by the rest of the hierarchy regarded as a fly in the ointment. So few, I struggle to name them. George Carey, vigorous and prophetic in his retirement. Michael Nazir Ali, the most impressive priest of his generation, felt compelled to resign his See in order to defend and support persecuted Christians abroad and increasingly in this country where we are excluded from public life by militant state secularism.

Yes, we know, but the question persists why are the Bishops like this? Why are we effectually led by a gang of apostates? Why are most of our shepherds but hirelings? The answer is dispiriting for it is historical and theological. And the views taken by the senior clergy on matters of politics and public morality flow directly from their historical understanding and theological principles – or rather from their lack of both.

I will try to précis a long story. Once upon a time in the 19th century, there were pre-eminent German historical critics with German names such as Bauer, Strauss and Schleiermacher. They were not genuine philosophers but secularised ideologists. And their core belief was that miracles don’t happen – because the prevailing scientific, materialist world view disallows them. Clearly, this raised awkward questions about how a professor of theology, fortified with this dogmatic superstition, should interpret the principle events of the New Testament: Christ’s Virgin Birth, his miracles of healing, water into wine and stilling of the storm; and chiefly his Resurrection on the third day. The historical critics – the rest of the university and parish clergy speedily catching up with them – decided that, rather than an outright denial of the truth of Christianity, the faith should be reinterpreted or, as Professor Rudolf Bultmann said, “demythologised.” (more...)

6 June 2013 13:20  
Blogger Flossie said...

(contd) ...This is a good trick if you can pull it off and this is how it goes…

The Virgin Birth? Didn’t happen of course – because such stuff cannot happen. But there the Virgin Birth remains in the gospels of Matthew and Luke and in the entire history of the church up to….well up to the times of the 19th century ideological critics and theological politicos. So it was demythologised and explained by saying that it was a sort of figure of speech invented to insist that Jesus was of more than ordinary importance. The feeding of the five thousand with a mere five loaves and two fishes? Impossible, of course. So the miracle was no miracle but only a “parable about how much we can do if we share.” In other words, a socialist picnic. The Resurrection? Well it was no conjuring trick with bones. The theologians’ materialistic, deterministic prejudices did not allow them to believe it. So they said it means that after the crucifixion, the disciples “experienced new life.” They rather forgot to explain how they came to experience this new life if Jesus remained dead.

So what does the unbelieving bishop or priest do next? After all, only a select few of them might hope to make a living teaching the new atheistic theology. Easy. They emulated the Vicar of Bray and accepted the policies of whatsoever king might be – or more precisely, they identified the Christian faith with the socialist programme. But why? Why, if you have to reinterpret the faith in terms of a political programme, why not take a conservative programme as your model? Easy again. Because conservatism stands for the persistence of the wisdom of the past into the present age. And that is the one thing the unbelieving bishops and clergy could not do – precisely because it was the beliefs of the past which they were so keen to repudiate.

How then should we regard these leading ecclesiastics? For guidance I turn to St Paul on the truth of the gospel:

If any man teach otherwise and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men and corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. From such men withdraw yourself.

6 June 2013 13:21  
Blogger Nick said...

Hi Bob

"we live in a prosperous and peaceful country compared "

And we wwould like to keep it that way. However, the way of the world is often very destructive, that is also a fact of life. "Righteous exalts a nation". If we become unrighteous we can expect the same fate as many nations that have preferred their own ideologies over Gods statutes.

Yes I am angry, but not all the time. I would rather be that way than we insipid and luke warm about issues like this. Being angry is not always unhealthy - there is such a thing as "righteous anger"

I'm off to enjoy the sunshine....

6 June 2013 13:22  
Blogger Philip said...

Yes, Christianity is a whole, and although one may not know or accept it all immediately, ultimately one cannot pick and choose which bits to accept, and reject other aspects of its truth. So looking at it like this, if some conduct that is the application of Christianity (e.g. not wanting to specifically facilitate un-Christian behaviour in one's premises) is deemed unlawful, then Christianity is effectively unlawful. While it's not a matter of an in-your-face, life and death choice being forced to choose between put one's primary allegiance to Jesus Christ or The Dear Leader, the principle is similar: does one obey Christ, with the well-known risks if one is a B&B owner or certain public sector employees, or "men" in the form of the new Big State-imposed homosexualist creeds.

Of course redefining marriage increases the problem, with belief in the always-held definition effectively against what the law will say. And what the law says will presumably what is required to be taught in schools for example. So if teachers can't in conscience teach what the State requires...

The problem is shown by this in the quote from the McFarlane judgement: "The precepts of any one religion – any belief system – cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other…" But what we have is that the State-imposed secularist/homosexualist creed is "louder...than any other", forcing aside beliefs and adherents to beliefs that dare to dissent from those the Big State is imposing on us.

6 June 2013 13:30  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Having expelled Moses the Raven from Animal Farm, the Pigs bring him back again to divert attention from the way things are going.

In that sense, the Coalition may find it useful to hang onto the C of E for a while.

My guess is that what is already the situation 'de facto' will soon become the situation 'de jure'. I wouldn't like to put money, though, on which party will actually do it.

6 June 2013 13:33  
Blogger Jon said...

Questions to which the answer is no.

6 June 2013 13:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The praxis of the state religion is by definition legal because that religion forms the basis of law. To find the state religion you examine the presuppositions that form the basis of law. By this standard the CoE fails. It has neither the coherence nor the standing to perform that task. That is why it has fallen to the status of pagentry without complaint. It is fulfilling the task slotted to it.

The CoE is not about religion or belief. It is about place and permanence. It is a reassuring institution that reflects the desire of a people see themselves as part of a long and continuing civilization. It doesn't have to be either true or believed to serve that function. It must simply be ... passive and inert by the side of the road. A warm reassuring image like a pastoral landscape.

carl

6 June 2013 13:52  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi Nick,

Indeed, there is much suffering in the world, but suffering will not decrease if the Church is resurgent. I think the anger manifested in the comments is due to clinging to a mythologised past, a mythologised nationhood, a mythologised Church. The Buddha said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." I think there is a lot of wisdom in that.

Consider this beautiful passage from Matthew 6: "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

Tomorrow will take care of itself. The long-term trends of society are not in our power to change. Our attitudes, our outlook, our perceptions on the other hand, are. Happiness is a choice.

Peace.

6 June 2013 13:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob 13:08

Epicurus would have loved you!

On the subject of impermanence, I'm a hospital visitor: since 80% of the elderly (so I'm told) are not visited by their own relatives.

In fact, I was there yesterday. A bit of a different scenario in there (and some about to change the impermanence of their situation for a permanent one): although the sun was shining.

6 June 2013 14:02  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Bob

1. Happiness is the most selfish self-centered measure of life that exists.

2. The man who spoke of the lillies of the field also said "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." He was no Buddhist.

carl

6 June 2013 14:16  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

As Burke may have said: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’

Bob seems to think he’s a good man and he is certainly doing nothing.

@ Dreadnaught (13:08)—Good post.

6 June 2013 14:19  
Blogger Bob said...

@Carl

There is certainly an Eastern flavour to Jesus' words in Matthew 6. In the context of his time, I think Jesus was closer to being a hippie than the stern authoritarian some of the commenters on this blog like to imagine him to be ;)

But all that's by the by. What really matters is treating others as you would wish to be treated. Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye?

@Johnny

I am but a man but I try to be.

Hmm, what you are referring to as "evil" I would consider as being closer to "change". Generally speaking, in the West, change tends to be considered as something you "do", whereas in the Eastern world it's something that "happens". Sometimes it's wiser to just go with it.

Peace.

6 June 2013 14:35  
Blogger Peter D said...

"Is Anglicanism still the State Religion in England?"

Was it ever - really?

And what is 'Anglicanism'?

6 June 2013 14:37  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Bob (14:35)—I call the murder of Drummer Rigby evil. You call it change. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

6 June 2013 14:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob

If what was done to Drummer Rigby were to be done to you, we may rejoice to think that you, at least, would be capable of full philosophical detachment as the meat cleaver went in.

Our situation, after all, is transitory: and this would be but a visible manifestation of change.

6 June 2013 15:09  
Blogger John Redlantern said...

Flossie

The Rev Peter Mullen may be delightfully un-pc, but he is also a bigoted ignoramus.

6 June 2013 15:13  
Blogger Bob said...

@ Johnny

I thought you were referring to the shifting societal values and mores of our time and the subsequent decline of the Church. I apologise for misreading you.

That murder was a cruel and purposeless act, committed by men who had been brainwashed by those whose hearts are full of hatred. Truly it was an evil act. But the reason for its occurrence is because of men clinging rigidly and inflexibly to a particular doctrine. Think of the evils perpetrated in the name of Communism, in the name of Capitalism, in the name of Islam and Christianity and so on ad nauseam. What they have in common is rigid adherence to doctrine or belief X.

Anyhow, let us not forget that evil acts are tempered with love and kindness, not with more hatred and evil acts. Turn the other cheek and all that.

Peace.

6 June 2013 15:21  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This is scary stuff as I see it's the cracks in the wall that is already weakened building, if Judges can't judge based on Christian values.

Other religions can still be free to spout and propagate their religions from their buildings just none of them should be able to have any influence in our laws or conduct. Christian values should be uppermost in the judges mind when interpreting the law and administering justice in all cases. It keeps things clear for everybody to understand and holds other less amicable religions in their place.

We are living in a facaded society from Potemkin stile towns to the empty meaningless religious pageants.

6 June 2013 15:24  
Blogger William said...

Andrew, nice piece with your customary logical force. It's all about homosexuality, isn't it? Leaving aside marriage, there are the issues of guest house owners and their double beds, adoption agencies etc. People will be prevented by law from acting on religious principle when that leads them to treat homosexual couples differently from heterosexual ones. I would argue that Christianity is ultimately responsible for liberal humanism, which is why you will not find unanimity in the CofE for upholding anti-gay discrimination. Those against it will claim it's a matter of justice and that justice trumps whatever is held to justify discrimination. After all, there is only a taboo against homosexuality, absent from the Gospels. It isn't a faith issue. Gay marriage, as their Graces say, is not a faith issue either, but there may be other grounds for opposing it, as I happen to do.

6 June 2013 15:58  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Flossie said,
That the Bishops, the senior clergy and above all the powerful ecclesiastical commissars in the central bureaucracy are Lefties, fully subscribed to socialistic public policies is unsurprising.
When I became a Christian in 1966 a young man in my church told me that a Christian could only in conscience vote for Labour. There was a feeling around then that the poor were not being cared for and so conservatism seemed contra to the Gospel.
We now know that the Labour movement became a socialist/communist based organisation that sought to destroy civilisation as we know it. Conservatism which had been my party of choice is now also seeking to destroy all that was good about our society.
Keep up you good work.

6 June 2013 16:23  
Blogger William said...

Addendum to my comment of 15:58. Same-sex marriage appears superficially to be a question of justice and that's how it's defended. The case founders because, unlike adopting children or staying the night in a B&B, the sought-after state is not the same thing for heterosexual and homosexual couples. Justice is therefore irrelevant.

6 June 2013 16:31  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Peter D,
You commented on Thomas More the other day. A documentary has just been made with Melvyn Bragg and here is an extract from an MSN article which is not complimentary to More. ’Even to have known Tyndale let alone to have read his New Testament back in England was to make you liable to torture and often death by fire. His story embraces an alliance with Anne Boleyn, an argument covering three quarters of a million words with Thomas More, who was so vile and excrementally vivid that it is difficult to read him even today. Tyndale was widely regarded as a man of great piety and equal courage and above all dedicated to, even obsessed with, the idea that the Bible, which for more than 1,000 years had reigned in Latin, should be accessible to the eyes and ears of his fellow countrymen in their own tongue. English was his holy grail'.
Give him due; his was a good and loyal Chancellor. A pity he did not base his faith on the scripture instead of Rome.

6 June 2013 16:46  
Blogger John Thomas said...

What the State wants (you hear this, for example, in Cameron's words)is a kind of pseudo-Christianity trimmed and shaped to fit in with the Almighty State, whose pronouncements and legally-prescribed practices take precedent. This is a dreadful parody of REAL religion.
"I regard the CofE like the BBC Third Programme. I don't use it much myself, but I'm glad it's there." (Seanrobsville) - I myself "use" the CofE quite a bit, but as for the Brazenly Biased Corp - I wish it wasn't there, at least not in its present form.

6 June 2013 16:50  
Blogger Peter D said...

Mr Integrity

Yes, I'm sure to agree with Melvin Bragg, though I can see why you might.

Thomas More is subject to considerable disinformation at the hands of historians. In total, six people were handed over by him to the State for execution. Whatever you think, heresy was a crime in those days. And I outlined the reasons he and Henry VIII took such a dim view of the protestant heresies during his Chancellorship - civil unrest, not to mention eternal damnation for those led astray by it.

He was a Catholic and a loyal subject - you really expect him to have embraced protestant heresies and acted in treason against his King?!

Seriously, just look where all that has led us today!

6 June 2013 17:16  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I have read the last few dozen posts with interest, there are some good thoughts there undoubtedly. But not unnaturally we, being in this country, look at the details of how Christianity and the relationship between it, the population and the ever bossy state, is developing, and we see how few are left as genuine adherents of the faith, Protestant or Catholic. However from where I am sitting it seems that the rejection of mainstream Christianity is proceeding just as rapidly elsewhere, in continental europe. I would be very happy to be wrong. On a brighter note I was in Poland about 5 years ago and I was pleased with the obvious devotion of many people, including the young, to Catholic Christianity and their Polish Pope. I hope that is continuing but clearly things have deteriorated markedly in Ireland, sadly.

6 June 2013 17:43  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

As Prof John Lennox has pointed out in Gunning for God , the concept of Justice has no place in an evolutionary worldview. The whole concept of legal standing becomes a side-show. I think it was Lord Deben who cited scientific progress up to the Wilberforce/Huxley debate, ground that is ceded by all but the most swivel-eyed. If he was right, most Christians now start further down the rebellious path of Romans 1 than they'd like to think they do, and that's why they can't object to further progress in the same direction. Science (or pseudo science) is the new frame of reference.

Just a thought in this context of how Christians fit with the UK state.

6 June 2013 17:59  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Thank you JohnnyR and thanks for the Telgraph link. Looks as though Gwent Police have more balls than Cressida Dick - which is not surprising.

6 June 2013 18:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

There's something a little ambiguous in this argument. On the one hand, there's an orthodox Christian belief (such as that homosexual conduct is a 'sin') and on the other there is some conduct which may or may not follow from that belief. It turns on what "in accordance with the requirements of Christianity" actually means, I'd say. It seems to me that one might equally argue the Bulls were or were not acting in accordance with the requirements of Christianity by doing what they did, whilst accepting that the hold an orthodox Christian belief which can be expressed in a prefectly legal way.

6 June 2013 18:03  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Integrity @ 16:46 -- my readings don't suggest that More was loyal to any prince but his foreign masters in Rome. He was a precursor of our present Lib/Lab/Con!

Indeed, I think More did everything he could to subvert English independence and to make Henry as unpopular as possible ... He needled Henry into imprisoning him: More knew that he was going to die of kidney disease anyway (he speaks of the disease in a letter to his daughter, Margaret; there was no cure in those days). That made Henry look responsible for the death (the end would justify the means, as it were) .

And I speak as one who originally fell for the Romance of a man who seemed to have the guts to stand up for his principles (A Man for All Seasons). However, deeper reading of primary texts (including Macchiavelli) made me dislike More intensely. Even his Utopia is unpleasant: a blueprint for communism, some would say.

6 June 2013 18:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

non mouse. Rather unfair, what !

You paint More as having no more integrity than a modern politician’s promises.

Didn’t think you of all people would go down the ‘conspiracy’ road...


6 June 2013 18:44  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Bob (15:21)—The ultimate reason for the murder is not the men who cling rigidly to the doctrine of Islam but the doctrine itself, which is centred on compassion for the Muslim in-group but contempt for the infidel out-group. For over a thousand years, Islam has eaten up infidel love and kindness and spat them out. That’s the nature of the beast. The West needs to confront Islam, not turn the other cheek to it.

6 June 2013 18:52  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Dr. Lilico.

As we no longer have our own State, or any say whatsoever in how we are governed, I am among those who deplore the pretence that we have a State Religion.

In playing to that scenario, we miss its context, where our entire constitution is null void - simply because of those vile Treaties: Rome and Lisbon. The truth is that the sooner somebody gets them out of the vaults and burns them - the better. The sooner we let the world know that no one had any right to give Britain away - the better. Thereafter, we can return to the one true religion, and to our own monarchy.

Of course, the pretence that we have a state is part of the insidiousness: we're supposed to be so busy arguing about "issues" on-stage that we still miss the demolition of our culture and building of the enemy's fortresses throughout our land. It's been so insidious that most foreigners (except the enemy) haven't even heard of the Lisbon Treaty...


6 June 2013 18:57  
Blogger Peter D said...

non mouse

Leaving aside your rather unpleasant characturisation of Thomas More, you appear to have completely misread Utopia or, rather more likely, haven't bothered to read it all.

If you have, ever wondered why divorce, euthanasia and both married priests and female priests are put forward in direct contradiction to Catholicism?

6 June 2013 19:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

With regard to More’s kidney disease, one is reminded of Churchill’s depression. It was while he was at Reading station, that he later wrote, “one dash across the platform and into the on coming express and it would all be over”

Sensibly, historians have never put the great man’s conduct during the war down to a desire to end it all and to drag everybody else with him, and quickly, “whatever the cost” as he would have put it...


6 June 2013 19:17  
Blogger Bob said...

@Johnny

Not in my experience; in my experience the Muslims I know and have met have all been calm, rational, polite and peaceful citizens. Not foaming at the mouth lunatics. It is absurd to paint them all with the same brush - there is a spectrum of belief within Islam just like there is in other religions. Islam is not a monolithic entity!

An important fact that is often overlooked is that there is a particular psychological type that is drawn to extremism, whether of a religious or secular nature. If the men who (for instance) murdered drummer Rigby hadn't discovered radical Islam, they would have found another doctrine to justify their actions. Saying the doctrine is to blame is like blaming the knife when someone gets stabbed. It is the wielder at fault...

Peace.

6 June 2013 19:19  
Blogger non mouse said...

Sorry re mine @ 18:57 -- should be 'null and void.'

________
OIG - conspiracy? I didn't say More was a conspirator.

I grant you that More didn't necessarily lie to the people. I think he was honest about his belief that Britain should buckle under to the foreign political power that was Rome. His modern successors bow similarly to the neu empire ...

6 June 2013 19:24  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Anglicanism is not the Church of England, however, the CoE is part of the Anglican Communion. The Church of England is the officially established church in England

Article XXXVII of the 39 Articles of Religion.

"The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction. Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers.

The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

The 39 Articles, which were drawn up by the church in convocation in 1563. An Act of Parliament ordered subscription to them by the clergy in 1571. They were confirmed in and by, the Act of Uniformity of 1662, the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701. They were consolidated, as fundamental and unchangeable by the Treaty of the Union 1707.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg) 2d July 2002 "As to the Act of Settlement, in whole or in part, I repeat that I believe that there is no clear and pressing need for repeal or reform".

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg) 15th July 2002. Yes the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701 where incorporated within the union of Scotland Act 1706

6 June 2013 19:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


non mouse. So the headquarters of Western Christianity is Rome. What of it ?

It would be somewhat grand to think that Jesus was himself English, but that failing of the Christ does nothing to deter from his message...


6 June 2013 19:31  
Blogger non mouse said...

OiG -- but Churchill didn't run under the train, did he?
It's arguable that, figuratively speaking, More did.

6 June 2013 19:36  
Blogger non mouse said...

Christ was not Roman, OiG. Actually, the Romans were after him from start to finish (from Herod to Crucifixion).

6 June 2013 19:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Bob, if I may but in - of course there are many many decent Muslims who do not directly threaten us or make for unpleasant neighbours but you only have to look at the troubles spots all over the world where Islam is the root of the conflicts. Look at the atrocious Syrian war, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Muslim Brotherhood,Hamas,Hezbolah Al-Quaida in various forms just about everywhere and anywhere: the list is endless and the common denominator is Islam and Koaranic interpretation and justification.

The demographic range of Muslims in Europe is expanding exponentially and if Turkey (and look how they are doing right now) is expected to join the EU some time in the not too distant future and add some 80 million to those already here.

The elephant in the room is getting fatter and fatter yet no one is prepared to even recognise it lest it causes offence.

Well I'm bloody-well offended, but who the hell cares.

6 June 2013 19:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


non mouse. He didn’t need to and More didn’t want to die. Your point ?

6 June 2013 19:40  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Anglicanism is not the Church of England, however the CoE is part of the Anglican Communion. The Church of England is the officially established Christian church.

Article XXXVII of the 39 Articles of Religion.
"The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction. Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers.

The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

The Thirty - nine Articles of Religion were drawn up by the church in convocation in 1563

Subscription to them by the clergy was ordered by act of Parliament in 1571. The Subscription (Thirty-Nine Articles) Act (1571), 13 Elizabeth, Cap. 12

The 39 Articles can be found in the Book of Common Prayer, which has not been repealed and are part of the British constitution through the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Act of Union with Scotland 1707

Clergy of the Church of England are still required to acknowledge that the Articles are "agreeable to the Word of God," CANON C15 OF THE DECLARATION OF ASSENT


The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg) 2d July 2002 "As to the Act of Settlement, in whole or in part, I repeat that I believe that there is no clear and pressing need for repeal or reform".

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg) 15th July 2002. Yes the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701 where incorporated within the union of Scotland Act 1706

6 June 2013 19:41  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Bob (19:19)—Well, we could judge Islam by the Muslims you happen to have met or we could judge it by its history; for example, its record of persecuting the non-Muslim minorities of Muslim countries, as dictated by the Islamic doctrine you seem keen to absolve from blame.

6 June 2013 19:55  
Blogger Corrigan said...

non mouse

At the risk of labouring the point (because I think I may have stated this once or twice in the past), when Christ said, "on this rock I will build my Church", He wasn't talking to Martin Luther and He damn sure wasn't talking to some opportunistic old rake who happened to sit on the English throne for a period. I really don't know why the fact that the Church is headquartered in Rome, not a provincial outpost like Canterbury, is such a problem for Anglicans. Try to get it through your skull that Christians are actually supposed to expect earthly states to pass into oblivion sooner or later, just as England will. Hell, shocking as it sounds, even the Vatican will cease to exist at some point, but the Church will not. Are you getting the picture?

6 June 2013 19:55  
Blogger Peter D said...

Erasmus viewed Thomas More as: " (one) whose soul was more pure than any snow, whose genius was such that England never had and never again will have its like"

Jonathan Swift said More was "the person of the greatest virtue this kingdom ever produced"; a sentiment Samuel Johnson entirely shared.

Thomas Babington Macauley considered More to be "one of the choice specimens of wisdom and virtue"

Kautsky said More, "like, a giant, towered over his contemporaries".

G.K. Chesterton, said Thomas More "may come to be counted the greatest Englishman, or at least the greatest historical character in English history".

(Of course these men had no idea Britain would produce another great genius such as non mouse)

Thomas More was executed because he stood against the spread of "new doctrine" by the contemporary "powers that be". More denied that King Henry VIII had become, by act of Parliament, "Supreme Head of the Church in England". He resisted the efforts being made to destroy the authority of the Catholic Church (well, he was a Catholic!) and attempts to change her doctrines; he resisted the sort of thing which was generally thought to constitute "progress".

Agree or disagree with him but compare him to political and church leaders today who bend in the wind of popular opinion.

6 June 2013 20:04  
Blogger Peter D said...

Corrigan

And there's me thinking you were about to make a bid for the Pope to relocate to Dublin!

6 June 2013 20:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan. A capital response. You do not disappoint...

6 June 2013 20:14  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Anglicanism is not the Church of England, however, the CoE is part of the Anglican Communion. The Church of England is the officially established Christian church.

Article XXXVII of the 39 Articles of Religion.
"The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction. Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers.

The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

The Thirty - nine Articles of Religion were drawn up by the church in convocation in 1563

Subscription to them by the clergy was ordered by act of Parliament in 1571. The Subscription (Thirty-Nine Articles) Act (1571), 13 Elizabeth, Cap. 12

The 39 Articles can be found in the Book of Common Prayer, which has not been repealed and are part of the British constitution through the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Act of Union with Scotland 1707

Clergy of the Church of England are still required to acknowledge that the Articles are "agreeable to the Word of God," CANON C15 OF THE DECLARATION OF ASSENT

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg) 2d July 2002 "As to the Act of Settlement, in whole or in part, I repeat that I believe that there is no clear and pressing need for repeal or reform".

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg) 15th July 2002. Yes the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701 where incorporated within the union of Scotland Act 1706

6 June 2013 20:36  
Blogger non mouse said...

OiG. I suggest that More was dying anyway: for political reasons, he arranged that his death would appear as Henry's fault; Henry obliged.

Must end the discussion here, btw. - haven't time to unearth details of the full argument, which I gathered a few years ago. I was interested as one who'd originally liked More, though other Protestants had opined that he was a traitor. Years later, for other purposes, I perused things like the Margaret Roper texts.

It's O/T anyway, and if I were interested in RC/Protestant argumentation, I'd go to an RC blog; however, nothing could drag me near one. As I've said before, aggression here has turned me against RCism in a way I've never experienced before. It's like being deported to NI or to the 16/17th centuries!

This is His Grace's site: I come here to keep up with his views.

6 June 2013 20:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


non mouse. Your views and beliefs respected by this man – be in no doubt of that, dear lady.

The Inspector was wondering how he would approach a numbered days situation. He comes to the conclusion that he would be happy to spend his last with his nearest and dearest. A certain amount of drunkenness would also feature. What would not is an onslaught against the king’s wishes. Are you sure you are not reading into More that which isn’t there ?

6 June 2013 20:58  
Blogger Bob said...

@dreadnaught, @johnny

I think you guys are missing the point. I'm not trying to "absolve" Islam because I am scared of "causing offense". Of course Islam has a violent history - so does Christianity and other faiths. But that doesn't mean that, as Christians, you two are blood-crazed loons. In fact, there was once a time when the Arab world was the centre of philosophical thought and scientific discovery, and Christendom was in turmoil. Nothing is permanent.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that it's better for us to focus on our similarities rather than our differences. It's easy to rant and get ourselves worked up, but to what end? It just isn't helpful to frame the issue in hostile terms of "us" against "them", the world is more complicated than that. Sometimes we forget that people are more important than ideologies...

Peace.

6 June 2013 21:48  
Blogger Peter D said...

non mouse

You slander a man recognised by Catholic and Anglican Church alike as a great Saint and noble man and then offer this:

"OiG. I suggest that More was dying anyway: for political reasons, he arranged that his death would appear as Henry's fault; Henry obliged.

Must end the discussion here, btw."


No evidence, just ... a suggestion ... and some vague recollection of earlier delving around ... somewhere!

How ridiculous!

6 June 2013 21:56  
Blogger Albert said...

A superb post. But if the judges are making these rulings, what are the laws they are making them on? They must exist or else, these judgements have no force. On the other hand, if these judgement disestablish the CofE they are unconstitutional, and therefore invalid.

I've asked before about what happens to judges whose judgements are bizarrely unconnected with the law. We spend a lot of time critiquing our politicians. May be it's the judges who are the real problem.

6 June 2013 22:04  
Blogger Corrigan said...

RC aggression, non mouse? You should have seen us before Vatican II.

6 June 2013 22:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Non mouse

It's O/T anyway, and if I were interested in RC/Protestant argumentation, I'd go to an RC blog; however, nothing could drag me near one. As I've said before, aggression here has turned me against RCism in a way I've never experienced before. It's like being deported to NI or to the 16/17th centuries!

That's interesting. There seems to be aggression from all sides down here. so to be consistent, you would have to give up all your beliefs. As presumably you don't, there must be other reasons for your rejection of Catholicism.

6 June 2013 22:09  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr William @ 15.59 says ‘People will be prevented by law from acting on religious principle when that leads them to treat homosexual couples differently from heterosexual ones.’

But the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill draws a clear distinction between a heterosexual marriage with husband and wife and a homosexual ‘marriage’ wherein there can be husband and husband or wife and wife as the case maybe. The central point of this Bill seems to be that despite the biological difference, each type of ‘marriage’ is to be treated equally. This may open the way to challenge. Could it not be that even an atheist business such as a BnB or an atheist not-for-profit such as an adoption agency could exclude provision of service to couple who were not Husband and Wife? One merely has to argue that the relevant service is only provided to Husband and Wife as defined by the Act. This communicant believes that previously the Marriage Act did not define marriage as the union between one man and one woman, this was naturally assumed.

As is so often the case with black letter law, the result is a mass of unintended consequences.

6 June 2013 22:17  
Blogger bluedog said...

Bob @ 21.48 says, 'In fact, there was once a time when the Arab world was the centre of philosophical thought and scientific discovery, and Christendom was in turmoil.'

Most Arab philosophy and thought was derived from Constantinople. Nothing changes the violent expression and urging of the Koran, and there's the rub. Christianity at least preaches love, whereas the Koran preaches hate. You preference to appease the Koranists will prove fatal.

6 June 2013 22:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Bob. In fact, there was once a time when the Arab world was the centre of philosophical thought and scientific discovery,

The Arabs were the beneficiaries of Greek thought at a time when the Greeks were under threat. Can’t remember who from right now. Anyway, it was all brought to them and entrusted with them. The Arabs are a somewhat simple people who do seem incapable of progression by themselves.

6 June 2013 22:24  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Right. well done everybody, we've managed to ground an excellent line of enquiry from Dr Lillico on the sandbank of our own well eroded topics.

I suggest - when was the debate that threw out the bishops? Soapy Sam Wilberforce v TH Huxley. Wake up sleepyheads.

6 June 2013 22:51  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

And I do agree with Flossie - I think it was the German Higher Criticism that got so much purchase in what passed for 'theological' circles at Oxbridge, and so swayed Cardinal Newman's brother. That sappy, flaccid thought process is still with us today, not just in the Anglican Church.

6 June 2013 22:56  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Hello Corrigan and Anoneumouse,
I am so glad that the Articles have been mentioned!

When I was about four I was walking to Church with my father. We passed a Methodist chapel from which I could hear the most marvellous singing. When I asked my father why we couldn't go there, he replied
"Because we go to the same sort of Church the King goes to and that's quite good enough for anyone!"

So I understood the Establishment from a very early age.

6 June 2013 23:00  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Bob (21:48)—Contrary to your assertion that nothing is permanent, the backwardness of the Muslim world is all too permanent.

When Islam sees things in terms of Muslim and infidel, and divides the world into the House of Islam and the House of War, it has chosen to focus on differences and set itself apart from us. It’s those pesky doctrines again.

6 June 2013 23:18  
Blogger Bob said...

@OiG, @johnny

"Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace."

-Albert Schweitzer

"World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion."

-Dalai Lama


Peace, brothers.

6 June 2013 23:32  
Blogger Peter D said...

Corrigan said...
"RC aggression, non mouse? You should have seen us before Vatican II"

Not aggression, sir! Just clarity and authority, wouldn't you say?

7 June 2013 00:46  
Blogger Corrigan said...

I would.

7 June 2013 06:20  
Blogger LEN said...

The United Kingdom(once great Britain now no longer' United' is
but a poor shadow of its former self)The UK has been 'sold out' by those who were elected to preserve what had been fought and won by successive generations.
The foundations have been uprooted and discarded and what we have now is neglected and in decline.
How long before those elected wake up to the reality of what is happening?.

7 June 2013 06:48  
Blogger LEN said...

The United Kingdom(once great Britain now no longer' United' is
but a poor shadow of its former self)The UK has been 'sold out' by those who were elected to preserve what had been fought and won by successive generations.
The foundations have been uprooted and discarded and what we have now is neglected and in decline.
How long before those elected wake up to the reality of what is happening?.

7 June 2013 06:49  
Blogger LEN said...

The United Kingdom(once great Britain now no longer' United' is
but a poor shadow of its former self)The UK has been 'sold out' by those who were elected to preserve what had been fought and won by successive generations.
The foundations have been uprooted and discarded and what we have now is neglected and in decline.
How long before those elected wake up to the reality of what is happening?.

7 June 2013 06:49  
Blogger Steven said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 June 2013 08:10  
Blogger Steven said...

The basic fallacy at the heart of this argument is that the Anglican form of Christianity obliges its followers to commit certain forms of behaviour that have been determined by statute and the courts to be illegal. It does not, any more than Islam obliges women to wear headscarves.

Taking the Bull case as an example, where is the scripture that commands Anglican hotel keepers not to provide service to gay couples? Where in the Anglican bible does it say "and thou shalt not suffer two men to share a double bed in thy hostelry"? Nowhere...

The Bulls used debatable scriptures that can be twisted to justify just about any kind of personal prejudice as an excuse to impose their morality on their customers. This has nothing to do with Anglican Christianity and everything to do with playing God and judging on his behalf, which is, by the way, EXPRESSLY forbidden in the Anglican bible, and every other bible too if I'm not mistaken.

The author of this article has confused his own personal prejudices with the State religion. It's unsurprising given the superiority complex he seems to suffer from. One can only hope that current developments in Parliament and the Church will disabuse him of the notion that his own personal will should dictate the form of religion backed by the State. I doubt it though. Entitlement syndromes are tough things to beat

7 June 2013 08:11  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Len.
I think many people are waking up to the reality of what has happened to the UK. Ukip are succeeding. It has struggled along, largely ignored for 20 years, but because the British, especially the English, are a pragmatic lot they and don't engage easily with ideas, they didn't grasp the point until they saw with their own eyes the effect of the EU on their streets and in their lives. But now the awful truth is there for all but the blind or perverse to see, and we are having success, and not before time.
Johnny et al.
If you read one book which gives you all the answers, then that's that and it tends to create a non-inquiring mind. But the other Book, ours, is not totally clear, it uses parables and many other devices to convey truth that has to be carefully weighed and teased out. So it tends to stimulate thought and discussion, and it must be said, sadly also disagreements. But a few disagreements, if kept in perspective, is a small price to pay , I think, for an inquiring approach to life. Science and democracy is unlikely to have arisen except in a Christian culture.

7 June 2013 08:15  
Blogger Andrew Lilico said...

Steven 08:11 & others. No. You have misunderstood. I was quite explicit in the article that the point was *not* whether this behaviour or that was forbidden by the law when it was in fact required by Anglicanism.

Suppose someone accused of something offered the defence that the behaviour of which they wete accused could mot be illegal since it was required by the state religion. The judge could disagree in two ways. (1) She could say the behaviour was not required by the state religion. (2) She could say that being required by the state religion is not a defence. The judges in the cases I quoted took route (2), not route 1.

7 June 2013 09:05  
Blogger David Richards said...

In my short time attached to a theology department at a university I've been quite surprised at the sort of attitude that is predominant. One one hand, much of the department is explicitly anglican/methodist or liberal catholic in a way unimaginable from my previous experience in religious studies and islamic studies departments. On the other, some of
that attitude may be best summed up in the words of a book of the gospels: speaking of the miracles "these may not be historically true (in the sense that they may well never have happened), but they may be theologically true." I could only find that mind-boggling!

7 June 2013 09:17  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Very good programme on William Tyndale last night. A truly great, unsung English hero willing to defy the Catholic tyranny of Henry VIII (Defender of the faith) and bring the Word to this great nation of ours.

I agree with David Hussell - the English (and the anglophiles living here) seem to be waking up.

PS There appears to be another William commenting here so I am switching to a "nom de plume".

7 June 2013 09:28  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Bob

I'm afraid it is you that is missing the point. And the point is that the followers of Islam are engaged in violent activity NOW, not at some obscure point in history.

From what you write, it suggests that you would be quite happy to live in an Islamic Britain because Islam is just as cuddly and friendly as your Muslim acquaintances - but you should know, that that will change rapidly if you fail to reject your freedom of religion and submit to its authority.

When we look at the number of people throughout the world who engage in acts of violence, the British Muslim defence leagues and their DHIMMI media/political acolytes, rush to assure us that the perpetrators are not true Muslims, but just ordinary folk who simply MISUNDERSTAND the Koran and the message of the RELIGION OF PEACE or have been RADICALISED by some bad guys. This is all obfuscation; if this peaceful minority exists as such, then it would be quite simple for them as the vast majority of the Ummah to put them in their place - No? - But it not happening.

There is nowhere in the world were individual Muslims have settled, increased in numbers, built mosques then tried to change the culture of their hosts when their numbers reached a critical mass.

Ghadaffi when he was alive, gave up on his nuclear ambitions when he pronounced that Islam will prevail; not through war, but from the wombs of their migrating women. He at least knew that the West is just too accommodating for it to fail.


7 June 2013 09:47  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Steven
It wasn't a hotel, it was their home - no difference is recognised by you or the court.

Personal, practical righteousness is expected of every Christian, Anglican or not.

James 1:21-22 Wherefore, laying aside all filthiness and abounding of wickedness, accept with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, beguiling yourselves.

The idea that Chrisitanity can exist without application to daily living is a popular one, giving the proponents the attractive status of the drill-sergeant in Full Metal Jacket " So you can give your heart to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the Corps! Do you ladies understand?"

The point here was that the Bull's (apparent) view that homosexuality is a sin and they would not allow it in their home - was overridden by the state. That either makes the State amoral, or the supplier of a different morality. It seems the case was complicated by the pragmatic approach to trying to avoid the fine and go some way with the zeitgeist, claiming that the discrimination was on grounds of sexual behaviour, not orientation. That was also swept aside, so the result's the same.

And by the way, your rather quaint references to the Anglican Bible' - which one's that? RSV? NIV? ESV? KJV? The concept of sin and support for sin is in there in all of them if you'd like to read it.

What is the new morality that you want the state to hold? On what is it based, other than the will of a mob? Marx set his out, even Hitler set his out, but not a squeak from Maria Miller.




7 June 2013 10:06  
Blogger Bob said...

@dreadnaught

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think what you're saying is an accurate reflection of reality. Again, you are generalising enormously from the words and behaviour of a miniscule subsection of the Islamic world, and embellishing the truth with apocalyptic bloviation. Muslims, just like Christians and Hindus and Buddhists and so on, just want to get on with their lives in peace. It really is that simple :)

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself...

7 June 2013 10:08  
Blogger bluedog said...

Dreadnaught @ 09.47, it may well be that Bob is in fact Bilal, tasked with arousing feelings of guilt among those who are rightly afraid of Islam.

7 June 2013 10:20  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 June 2013 10:31  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Andrew's article does indicate to me, and I agree with him, that judges and the politicians, all without a mandate, are re-writing the constitution to make the State Religion into a ceremonial affair only. What other conclusion can you reach? Personally though a totally committed subject and above all else, a committed Christian, who was brought up to be Anglican, I would prefer disestablishment to a creeping degradation of the denomination. I have no interest in a tame poodle of a Church, as I follow Scripture, Tradition and Reason, in that order.

David Richards. My experience of Christian education concurs with yours. I am, at a "senior" age taking a Christian theology degree, to become a Lay Minister, of the Word. It leans slightly to Anglicanism, but draws on the world wide Church, which I respect enormously. The course is overwhelmingly liberal in orientation, reinterpreting many things it seems. I reject all that, which is why my essays attract lower marks than I achieved many decades ago in my previous two disciplines, used professionally to earn a loving. However my sermons and teaching adhere to traditional Protestant interpretations and they can jolly well lump it. Only one more year to go then the lecturers can take a leap !

7 June 2013 10:54  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Mistake !
"loving " , nice idea but meant to say "living", of course. Far more prosaic ! Freudian perhaps ?

7 June 2013 10:56  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Bob/Bilal (10:02)—Islam applies ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ only to Muslims; it is the only major religion to restrict the Golden Rule to its followers. The Muslim version of Matthew 22:39 is:

[48:29] Mohammed is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.

7 June 2013 11:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rasher: "It wasn't a hotel, it was their home - no difference is recognised by you or the court."

Fire regulations? Employees such as cleaners? Services such as laundry? Council tax? Planning permission and change of use? Tax implications? Private and public spaces? It's a business rather than a home as well they know.

7 June 2013 11:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Steven: "The basic fallacy at the heart of this argument is that the Anglican form of Christianity obliges its followers to commit certain forms of behaviour that have been determined by statute and the courts to be illegal."

Exactly.

We also have freedom of conscience and conscientious objection too, which allows people to walk away from a situation in most cases and which the State may allow to influence work practice in some cases.

7 June 2013 11:30  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

DanJO

Fire regulations - don't let people burn. Humm... tricky one that, but I'm sure the Bishop of Salisbury's version of Christianity means we should have a fresh look at it.

Cleaning staff don't generally sleep together on the job, do they? Laundry is, as far as I know, incapable of having sex, although my socks do often get tangled in other items of clothing. It's not often you hear of an immoral jacket or scarf.

Planning consent allows B&B use of a home, and there are provisions for running a business from home. All good stuff - none of which affects choice of guests.

What you're saying is that nobody operating a B&B has a right to exercise any discernment over who stays in their home on moral grounds.

Is that a fair summary?

7 June 2013 12:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

No, I'm saying it's clearly a business premises. I can spell it out if you're still struggling: B U S I N E S S P R E M I S E S. The home thing is a load of bollocks put about so that not very bright people might feel sorry for them, thinking what it might be like to have a couple of blacks, homosexuals, muslims, or whatever one is averse to staying in (say) the offspring's bedroom while they're at university. Take a look at the place, it's a very large house with dedicated bedrooms for rent, a breakfast room, a reception desk, and so on.

7 June 2013 14:54  
Blogger non mouse said...

7 June 2013 10:20: . . . it may well be that Bob is in fact Bilal, tasked with arousing feelings of guilt among those who are rightly afraid of Islam. Perceptive as ever, Mr. bluedog! Those posts stand out especially for their outdated 'hippiness.' Oh well, a Flowerpot Man gives us a change from ...


7 June 2013 17:10  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Danjo

I had looked at the house, and yes, it's at the larger end of the scale, but it doesn't change the principles. They still have to get out of the industry or turn into a non-profit organisation (which I think is what they've done). The principle still stands for the Christian printer in Northern Ireland – disapproval of homosexuality is erroneously equated with racism and religious discrimination.

In case you hadn't noticed, lots of B&B's are large houses with dedicated bedrooms for rent, a breakfast room. So what? Are you telling me that you would let off a smaller B&B? What's your size band? Can I use uncial script to repeat that the owners of B&B usually live there? You don’t really care about the size, do you?

The business premises/home distinction is something that might have given people an excuse to live and let live, but the overwhelming impression seems to be that if there is anything where there's the slightest impression of disapproval of homosexuality, it’s to be taken to court. I don’t really think you care about the distinction – you just prefer to have the discussion on the less emotive ground of a business premises, as if faith never affects business. I’m not saying I support the Bull’s business model – I just dislike the way they have been fined on the principle of an unchallenged new morality.

Anyway - here we are fixating on this moral issue – I take it we don’t agree. Maybe the point Andrew Lillico was making was that the discussion might be a bit clearer if the State wasn’t in danger of having a pet religion that was effectively the Ministry of Spiritual Affairs.

Dr Lillico – very interesting article & food for thought.

I’d be interested to hear your views on the Privy Council decision on Bishop John Colenso, where it was decided by the state that Church’s writ didn’t extend to removing Colenso from office for his denial of the doctrine of eternal punishment - partly because of the emphasis on grant of Bishops’ livings, rather than doctrinal conformity. The first Lambeth Conference in 1867 had to deal with the fall-out. Maybe that was when people who would have squeaked, did.

7 June 2013 17:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rasher: "They still have to get out of the industry or turn into a non-profit organisation (which I think is what they've done)."

No. They have a third choice: to separate their business lives (and premises) from their personal lives (and home). If I went to a Premier Inn as a gay couple and the manager turned me away because he has issues with homosexuality then most people would think that was out of order, similarly with hotels or B&Bs who operate a policy like "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" on their premises. The Bulls could have rationalised this away by thinking that they are merely renting rooms for overnight stays and that they are not in a state of conscientious objection because they are not directly involved in any act by visitors they might disapprove of. But they didn't. They extended their personal space to include their business space, and subsequently illegally discriminated against the visitors on the basis of sexual orientation. Much encouraged by the Christian Institute et al for their own political ends, irrespective of the effect litigation allegedly had on the owners at the time.

7 June 2013 17:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Anyway - here we are fixating on this moral issue – I take it we don’t agree."

As for the article, I pointed out what I took to be a flaw in his article earlier. Feel free to challenge that if you can as I think it's a solid point myself.

7 June 2013 17:45  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

From a purely biz point of view, I had hoped the Christian couple had won; then those of us with a biz head on could have catered for the pink pound with a reasonable monopoly of business! Dam you equal rights, can't you see some of us have businesses to run?

7 June 2013 17:52  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Albert, 6/6 @22.09:There seems to be aggression from all sides down here.
I’ve already noted that this is not an RC site: Otherwise, I would not contribute any more than I still attend RC churches. Those places, where I respect the rights of RC followers “to be” - since I cannot share their application of Christianity, I leave them to it.
RCs, however, do not return the compliment. Thus, even as I choose to read and post in an Anglican/CoE place - RCs beset and invade the space, frequently attempting to beat into shape anyone who rejects RomanC authoritarianism.

Well - I personally have nothing further to argue with RC authority. My grandmother’s pov has grown on me: she who married a Protestant and refused, ever after, to open the door to the RCs who kept knocking on it.

... so to be consistent, you would have to give up all your beliefs. As presumably you don't, there must be other reasons for your rejection of Catholicism. I do not reject Catholicism, though; I reject Roman hegemony over Catholicism. The stance has form: here in the lowlands of oft-invaded ‘England,’ GB Celts have defended themselves against Romanism for a couple of thousand years.* Billy Bastard’s invasion, undertaken under the banner of P. Alexander II (1061-1073), was one more imposition of the same.** I remain grateful to Tudor Protestants for redressing some of that balance --- among other things, for developing our vernacular approach from the footsteps of Theodore, Bede, King Alfred, (various Anglo-Saxons in between), Wyclif, Chaucer, and His Grace.
_____________________
*Defence against Irish invasion has gone on much longer; however, one values Irish contribution to the English tradition - as at Monkwearmouth-Jarrow and Lindisfarne.
**There, French Vikings united with the Romans to form one enemy. Hmmm...

7 June 2013 19:10  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thanks, Oig 6/6/20.58: The Inspector was wondering how he would approach a numbered days situation. He comes to the conclusion that he would be happy to spend his last with his nearest and dearest. A certain amount of drunkenness would also feature. What would not is an onslaught against the king’s wishes. Are you sure you are not reading into More that which isn’t there ?

Again, it’s too complicated for here and now; however I wonder if you’ve looked at the scholarship yourself, lately? Some of it’s accessible on the general web - though academic sites lighten the task. I originally perused texts from St. Thomas More: Selected Letters. Ed. Elizabeth Rogers. Yale University Press, 1961.* Although the following letter to Margaret (2/5/1535) is not the one that mentions ‘reyns,’ it does address the issue I raise:

I am, said I, the King’s true faithful subject and daily beadsman and pray for his Highness and all his and all the realm. I do nobody harm, I say none harm, I think none harm, but wish everybody good. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith, I long not to live. And I am dying already, and have since I came here been divers times in the case that I thought to die within one hour, and I thank our Lord I was never sorry for it, but rather sorry when I saw the pang past. And therefore my poor body is at the King’s pleasure; would God my death might do him good. [From Letter #63, pp. 245-248]

He was a certainly a man who knew the values of irony - so I say his sentiment is open to the interpretation that he wants his death to set the King on the RC path to "goodness" :)

continued...

7 June 2013 19:20  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

A super and thought-provoking argument. Yes, you are right, and "they know not what they do".

7 June 2013 19:21  
Blogger non mouse said...

Cont'd:
More's interrogators were familiar with his political aptitude, as another letter, of 4/6/1535, indicates:
I am no man's judge. It was also said unto me that if I had rather be out of the world as in it, as I had there said, why did I not speak even out plain against the statute. It appeared well I was not content to die though I had said so. Whereto I answered as the truth is, that I have not been a man of such holy living as I might be bold to offer myself to death, lest God for my presumption might suffer me to fall, and therefore I put not myself forward, but draw back. Howbeit if God draw me to it himself, then trust I in his great mercy, that he shall not fail to give me grace and strength. [Letter #64, pp. 249-253.]

It is still accepted, I think, that a death is not suicide if one’s enemies force one to it ... the onus of murder then falls on them. That’s why I say Henry takes the blame, while More stands up for his master, the Pope. So we either accept that More is right in supporting foreign and temporal power over the King’s; or we accept that he is a traitor. In terms of eternity, like More — “I am no man’s judge”; however, I have put no one to death and say others should practice the freedom of choice that More asserted for himself. My choice is to reject belief in Rome - and all its pageantry.

Since the reaction of Erasmus to More’s story, there’s been a tradition of paralleling More’s death with that of Socrates. The argument continues. One article by Cosimo Quarta, a philosopher form the University of Lecce, somewhat supports an RC position while exploring the parallel. It is: “More and Socrates.” Trans. George Metcalf. Moreana Vol. 40, 156 (Dec. 2003) 85-103.

____________________
Here are a couple more primary sources:
More, Thomas. Saint Thomas More: Selected Writings. Ed. John F. Thornton, et al. Vintage Books, 2003.

More, Thomas. The Last Letters of Thomas More. Ed. Alvaro de Silva. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 2001.

And there’s always son-in-law William Roper’s version of the story...

7 June 2013 19:38  
Blogger Peter D said...

That's you 'evidence' for the slur against Thomas More? A noble man who truly understood:

"Well, then," Jesus said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."

Thomas More followed his conscience and refused to accept Henry VIII as the "Supreme Head of the Church in England".

7 June 2013 20:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

non mouse. Very well illustrated. But here is where you fall down. In the middle ages, it was de rigueur for a King or a Prince to accept the church had the first call upon a man’s soul, at least until the madness that happened when Anne Boleyn showed up. So there you have it. More did nothing out of the ordinary – but Henry did.

7 June 2013 20:42  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 June 2013 21:28  
Blogger non mouse said...

So glad you approve, Oig.

Don't forget, now:it was ever God who had the first call -- for anyone.

And now I really am 'outta here' and out of time.

7 June 2013 21:32  
Blogger Peter D said...

More's final words on the scaffold were:

"The King's good servant, but God's First."

The central truth that More defended — for which he later died — was that the spiritual authority and rightful liberty of the Church was given by God to be exercised by the Bishops in union with the Pope. No secular power - no king, no parliament, no civil law - had jurisdiction over man’s soul or the Church’s faith. The king had no right to dictate Church teaching or command the Bishops how to govern the Church’s life.

7 June 2013 21:49  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0
The Bulls run/ran a small specialist B&B based on Christian principles, to have homosexuals even if they were in a civil partnership staying there would be them condoning that sin and going against all their moral principles. But, who cares about little Christians where homosexuals are concerned in society. I mean Christians are insignificant and one can steamroller over them, they count for nothing. Anyone with morals seems to be stamped on these days.

The fact that they would have accommodated them in a twin bedded room was compliant with the law but sadly they didn't have one of these available. Maybe it is a good idea for specialist guest-houses like this one to have the details of a few other guest houses and hotels in the vicinity that do take all clients so that they can offer to book them into alternative accommodation.

If we were living in a truly free and diverse society, then the Bulls would have felt free to ask over the phone what the prospective clients' sexual orientation was and to advertise their specialism more.

7 June 2013 22:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Non mouse,

Thus, even as I choose to read and post in an Anglican/CoE place - RCs beset and invade the space, frequently attempting to beat into shape anyone who rejects RomanC authoritarianism.

Well, it's Dr Cranmer's website, and he seems rather to welcome the free-debate:

Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure, not least because some suffer fates far worse. Comments on articles are therefore unmoderated, but do not necessarily reflect the views of Cranmer

You go on:

I remain grateful to Tudor Protestants for redressing some of that balance --- among other things, for developing our vernacular approach from the footsteps of Theodore, Bede, King Alfred, (various Anglo-Saxons in between), Wyclif, Chaucer, and His Grace.

You'll be telling us next that you support the Arthurian/Tudor legend that England is an Empire that was used to defend the CofE in its origins. BTW have you actually read an Bede? I don't think he's agree at all with your comments about Rome and England.

7 June 2013 22:15  
Blogger LEN said...

You can take a Catholic to Christ but you cannot make him accept Him. Perhaps this is the way with deception only God can break through the bondage of deception IF those deceived want the truth above ALL else.

I seriously consider that a Country has a 'life span'. Others seem to have thought the same. It seems to be only a matter of time before the corrupting force of evil will destroy whatever God initiates.

We see this in the Nation and in the Church.

The only solution is not to be drawn into what man has corrupted whether this be the official Church or a Government which has become self serving.

As an aside Cameron is meeting the 'real Government' this weekend the men who 'really 'run the Country those unelected men who call themselves the 'illuminated ones' no
coincidence that Satan can also appear as 'an angel of light'.

Christians should remain IN the World but not OF the World to remain outside of the 'World system' whether this be Political or religious.

Anglicanism has suffered a corruption as has Catholicism by letting 'the World' set their agenda.

8 June 2013 06:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "The Bulls run/ran a small specialist B&B based on Christian principles, to have homosexuals even if they were in a civil partnership staying there would be them condoning that sin and going against all their moral principles."

You have reached the actual contention about the article. That is, the Bulls could have simply rented them a room as a service provider and left the rest to their god given that they were not directly involved in any 'sinful' acts themselves. They could have acted "in accordance with their orthodox Christian beliefs" and still remained within the law. Moreover, you're assuming that the visitors would have had sex in the room. Why? I wouldn't think about having sex in that sort of hotel. It'd be like having sex in a campsite!

"Anyone with morals seems to be stamped on these days"

That's not true. I have strong morals, probably more so than some of the people here, including yourself, and I don't get stamped on. Take same-sex marriage. There's been massive attempts by some religionists to stamp on people like me but we won't put up with it, preferring to fight back and stand our ground.

"If we were living in a truly free and diverse society, then the Bulls would have felt free to ask over the phone what the prospective clients' sexual orientation was and to advertise their specialism more."

Of course we're not completely free. B&B owners are not allowed to ask if someone is black either and refuse to take a booking either. That's not such a bad thing to have some limits on freedom.

8 June 2013 07:08  
Blogger Tony Aster said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 June 2013 11:59  
Blogger Tony Aster said...

You are talking absolute cobblers. Homosexuals always compare themselves to blacks - FALLACY. CRAP. Insult to blacks.
Homosexuality is not something you're born, it's something you do, so any proprietor such as the Bulls is quite within their rights to ban it on their premises.
There are thousands of businesses that discriminate against heterosexuals and say openly that they are "gay-only". That is a bloody scandal and if we really believed in fairness and equality all those businesses should be fined, and closed down.
Stop whinging and pretending the gays are victims. They're not - they're just liars.

8 June 2013 12:00  
Blogger Tony Aster said...

Queers have never been "stamped on". We are tired of hearing their propaganda and bloody dishonest accusations.

8 June 2013 12:02  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Yes, but they are specifically a Christian B&B and not any old service provider, having homosexuals on the premises whether in a double bed or even twin beds really is contravening the Bible and compromising their faith. Had it been just a single homosexual on his own then that would have been ok. Love the sinner loathe the sin. By allowing two homosexual men in a Civil Partnership to stay in their property and in a double bed would be positively encouraging their sinful behaviour. What do married couples do??? Yes, they have sex Danj0. So it would seem that little people like the Bulls can not really run specialist Christian businesses anymore. The judge ruled in favour of homosexuality rather than Christianity. Shame on him really, I wonder if he too is homosexual? Christianity is being compromised and squashed out, society is all the poorer for not being able to have proper small under 10 rooms Christian B&Bs.

And being black is only a skin colour the same Christian rules would apply to black homosexuals. Homosexuality is an action. A sinful action.

8 June 2013 15:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Tony: "Queers have never been "stamped on". We are tired of hearing their propaganda and bloody dishonest accusations."

It was illegal until 1967 to even engage in homosexual acts in the UK, you berk. It's only been in the last 15 years or so that we've had something resembling equality. Where have you been living? A cave? In other parts of the world, we're hanged or imprisoned for life for sexual activity.

8 June 2013 18:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Tony: "You are talking absolute cobblers. Homosexuals always compare themselves to blacks - FALLACY. CRAP. Insult to blacks.
Homosexuality is not something you're born, it's something you do, so any proprietor such as the Bulls is quite within their rights to ban it on their premises."

If you had a few more IQ points to rub together then your neurons might throw up a recognition that I was arguing against the notion that "truly free and diverse society" is a good thing if it means that B&B owners can turn away who they wish. Otherwise why shouldn't racist owners refuse to let black people stay? Also, clearly the Bulls are not within their right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation (and a number of other attributes, including religion as it goes). They were fined and their various levels of appeal failed.

8 June 2013 18:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 June 2013 18:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "Yes, but they are specifically a Christian B&B and not any old service provider, having homosexuals on the premises whether in a double bed or even twin beds really is contravening the Bible and compromising their faith."

Merely repeatedly asserting that is not making an argument. That's the very thing which is in contention. Why is it contravening the Bible and compromising their faith? They're not engaging in homosexual activity themselves. Moreover, you're extending it beyond what the Bulls believe since they were allegedly prepared to let the couple stay provided it wasn't in a double bed yet you have suddenly decided yourself that even that is contravening the Bible and their faith despite their not agreeing with you. Clearly, there's some disagreement there.

"By allowing two homosexual men in a Civil Partnership to stay in their property and in a double bed would be positively encouraging their sinful behaviour. What do married couples do??? Yes, they have sex Danj0."

I know you have a rather warped sense of what homosexuality means in practice but I don't see why sharing a bed necessarily means sex. I'm pretty sure most married couples aren't shagging every night, and probably not even once a week. They may have justed wanted somewhere to sleep before hitting the beach. Heck, if the Bulls had let them stay but in twin or separate rooms, as they suggested, then what's to stop them playing the pink oboe or having a quick one off the wrist or even something more in a single bed? I've certainly managed that more than a few times myself.

Moreover, if the Bible and their faith is the yardstick of other people's behaviour then how would they cope with a couple of Muslims or Hindus staying? What if they said prayers to a different god? Afterall, the Judeo-Christian god is a self-confessed jealous god who takes a very dim view of other deities getting worshipped. And it's pretty likely that religious people of other types would in fact pray, especially devout Muslims. Would you favour them turning anyone away who might have an inclination towards another god? Should they ask brown people, just in case, whether they're a bit wrongly religious before they accept a booking?

8 June 2013 18:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Chaps, an update on SSM views from Satan’s bottom, Pink News

Now, you think the queer folk would be cock a hoop at developments to date. It’s virtually in the bag. But they are not. They ‘fear’ that consideration would be given to registrars to contract out, and teachers the same. And they say that is just not on.

Damn unreasonable, and very telling of these blighters mind-set. They want it all, and they want it now, and they are not finished yet.


8 June 2013 19:28  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0
I doubt whether devout muslims would be choosing to stay at a Christian B&B but, no, those who belong to other faiths should be able to stay at a Christian B&B, they would no doubt have to take part in morning/evening prayers in the dining room and have to endure the Bible in their rooms and any other events that were taking place there. No doubt they would quietly pray to their own God in the privacy of their own room which is an action but it does not affect others as long as they did it quietly. Now herein lies the religious tolerance that is a Christian attribute. As has been discussed on here before a Muslim or Hindu quietly praying in the privacy of their own room is not a sin as it's not Christians praying to Allah or any other God is it? Nor is it like a pair of homosexuals doing whatever to each other no matter what bed they are in.
I would say the nasty homosexuals have no tolerance of the devout Christians.

8 June 2013 20:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie, you're basically incoherent. It's just a hotch potch of assertion, opinion, and contradictory principles that you're writing.

8 June 2013 20:54  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

*shrug*

Time to watch the sun go down with a gin and tonic I think.

8 June 2013 21:15  
Blogger non mouse said...

Albert (7/6/@22:15) said: Well, it's Dr Cranmer's website, and he seems rather to welcome the free-debate:

You are, indeed, one who acknowledges His Grace’s ownership of this space. I have long valued his very English encouragement of free expression. That practice doesn't glorify: bullying, straw men, ad hominen/feminam, meconnaissance, or ignorance - as if they were ‘debate,’ but it shows those things for what they are. Consequently, some may believe that non-Communicants here (esp. RCs) employ fallacies as blunt weapons, rather in the manner of marxists who use dystopic novels as handbooks for praxis.

You'll be telling us next that you support the Arthurian/Tudor legend that England is an Empire that was used to defend the CofE in its origins. Your meaning eludes me, but since you know what you’re saying, there's no point in my worrying. In the present climate hereabouts though, I will explore nothing Arthurian, be it textual or contextual. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Marie de France, Chretien de Troyes, Laӡamon, The Stanzaic Morte Arthur, Gawain and the Green Knight, The Alliterative Morte Arthure, Chaucer, "The Parlement of the Thre Ages," Malory &c&c ....

BTW have you actually read an Bede? Bede?(AD 673-735) Actually, I'm still laughing at your fake assumptions! You must know something of your own mental equipment, but for me it’s irrelevant - quite beyond me, after all.

Cont'd

8 June 2013 21:43  
Blogger non mouse said...

cont'd
I don't think he's agree at all with your comments about Rome and England.
Others here may acknowledge that I referenced not Bede's relationship to his Church overall (and yes, he admired Gregory the Great, among others) - but his contribution to the vernacular approach for teaching Christianity in England. To wit, let me adduce: his rendition of "Cædmon's Hymn" and story (Farmer (F) 248-51; 372/3); his "Letter to Egbert" - in which he speaks of translating the Creed and the Lord's Prayer into the vernacular (F 340; 375); and “Cuðbert's Letter on the Death of Bede” - which describes Bede's use of vernacular prayer (F 358;377). In passing, however, one might not forget that Bede also introduces the reader to various schisms within the Roman Church. One such disagreement culminated in a clash of Roman and Celtic preferences: at the Synod of Whitby/Streanæshalch - AD 664 (F 187-93).

The vernacular continued to flourish until too many invasions demoted it. As for Tudor history and contribution to the re-flowering of English --- well, WS (a man of those times) lit my way back to John of Gaunt and the Beauforts (cf. Richard II).

My path from there? Suffice it to repeat - I have no more time for non-Communicants on this
blog. For Christians, and folk of "[...] a general honest thought and common good to all,"** may I echo Bede: "Should the reader discover any inaccuracies in what I have written, I humbly beg that he will not impute them to me, because, as a true law of history requires, I have laboured honestly to transmit whatever I could ascertain from [both educated and] common report [. . .]" (“Preface,” F 43).
___________
*Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Rev. ed. Trans. Leo Sherley-Price. Rev. R. E. Latham. Trans. Minor Works, Intr., & Notes D. H. Farmer. London: Penguin, 1990.

8 June 2013 21:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

Addendum to mine @ 21:56 --
The computer cut off my citation for:
**Shakespeare, W. Julius Caesar. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.(Here: Antony V.v.71-2).

8 June 2013 22:01  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Telegraph article this morning on use of St Mary Undercroft for Same Sex Marriages - I think this has cropped up before, and others may have read it anyway...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10108011/Buckingham-Palace-dragged-into-row-over-gay-marriage-in-Parliament.html

Chris Bryant seems to be pushing it.

8 June 2013 23:35  

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