09 Jan

It’s not just the Gays

Next week in Canterbury cathedral the worldwide Anglican Communion will split into two factions. Except this is not quite correct – for the fact is that the church has split already. Next week’s meeting, called by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will at last formalise the split.

The reason for the division is said to be the widely different teachings on sexuality among the churches, and particularly on the subject of homosexuality. This is true, but it is only part of the truth.

The fundamental cause of the split is much broader and deeper and involves not just the matter of sexual morality. It is ethical, certainly, but it is also theological, doctrinal and cultural. In truth, it is an unbridgeable division between traditionalists and modernisers or, to put it bluntly, between believing Christians and secularising liberals. I must apologise here for some terminological inexactness: “Liberal” in this context does not mean “broad-minded, live and let live”; it connotes a theological cultural hegemony which has adopted the secular mores of western societies and which therefore has rejected the historic Christian faith. This account of the matter is not merely my opinion: the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, used his final sermon to tell us, “The church has a lot of catching up to do with secular mores.”

And these secular mores are not the same thing as historic Christianity. In fact, they are its antipathy.

The fact is that the European and American churches have already caught up with secular mores. Many African and Asian churches reject modern secular mores. And that is the fundamental cause of the split which already exists de facto and which will be formalised at next week’s meeting when Archbishops from believing churches in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Rwanda and Congo are likely to walk out.

“There’s going to be a lot of drama,” said a senior C of E source. “It’s 90% likely that the six will walk out. If we get past Tuesday, we’ll be doing well.”

Of course, the mass media will focus all its attention on the widely differing views on homosexuality among the churches. A typical headline will announce:  CHURCH SPLITS OVER GAYS.

But to claim that the cause of division is disagreement on the ethics of homosexuality is as if we should say that the cause of the First World War was the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. The assassination didn’t help, but the deep causes of that war were international tensions and disagreements which had been brewing for decades.

And that is the case with today’s division among Anglicans worldwide.

For decades the western churches have come more and more to believe less and less. When I say churches, I mean, of course, the elites – bishops, synods and the like with their self-important commissions and reports – who rule these churches. They have demythologised the gospels and they no longer believe in the credal doctrines concerning the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, Ascension and the Second Coming of Christ. They also reject the miracle stories in the Bible. The traditional Christians believe that these teachings mean what they say. The liberal elite reduces them to metaphors in which, for example, the bodily Resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen but means  a feeling of new life; the feeding of the five thousand didn’t happen either, but is an acted parable about sharing.

Really, in the Anglican Communion today, there are two creeds.

The believing Christians hold fast the historic creeds and the traditional understanding of the New Testament account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We know what these creeds say, for they are written down and have been said daily by the faithful for centuries. So far as I know, the creed of the liberal elite has never been written down, but if it were to be, it would go something like this:

“I believe in God, but only in the metaphorical sense that the doctrines of the secular Enlightenment, Darwin and modern science will allow. I believe in Jesus Christ who was a very special person who went about preaching the gospel of social conscience. I believe in equality and diversity. I believe in climate change. Most important of all, I believe that those who do not believe these things have a lot of catching up to do with what we moderns with our secular mores believe.”

So there you have it: the story behind the headlines.





22 Dec

Be nice to a Welby near you

Each Archbishop of Canterbury finds his own way to cause annoyance. For example, in his final sermon, Rowan Williams told us: “The Church has a lot of catching up to do with secular mores.”

Thus he neatly inverted the biblical commandment, “Be ye not conformed to this world.”

Williams grew into the habit of making irritating utterances gradually over the years of his incumbency at Canterbury, but Justin Welby arrived on the scene fully accomplished in the art of getting up our noses.

In his special irritating remark for Christmas, Welby says, we should “take the risk” of being kind to “those wrongly seen as different.” And, in case we don’t immediately get the gist of what he means here, he adds a helpful hint, saying that this past year has been “an extremely tough one” particularly, “for our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

So really we ought to go out of our way to be nice to Muslims for whom things are so tough.

I don’t suppose you need any reminding, but I will remind you anyhow: the Archbishop of Canterbury is the chief priest of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion.

So it would be reasonable for you to conclude that he is a Christian.

Now, in Syria and Iraq this past year has been “an extremely tough one” for Christians. For you see their “Muslim brothers and sisters” have been burning down their churches, torturing, raping and beheading them. In fact Christians are suffering persecution explicitly in the name of Islam in countries from Nigeria in the west to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the east.

Also, in the name of Islam,many innocent people have been shot dead or blown to bits in Paris, the USA, Nigeria. Mali, Lebanon and a dozen more places.

All these people were despatched by our “Muslim brothers and sisters.”

You might think that the Archbishop has very slightly got the emphasis wrong. You may be tempted to become impatient with him.

But look, it’s Christmas and we should all exercise that most excellent gift of charity.

So, if you happen to bump into Justin Welby, swallow your annoyance and “take the risk” of being nice to him.

He’s probably had “an extremely tough year.” 

25 Jul

‘Ee bah gum–there’s Sharia up ‘ere!

When I was growing up in Leeds, we knew Dewsbury as a small town a few miles down the road. A Yorkshire town on the edge of the Pennines. An English town. Nowadays it might as well be a town in Pakistan or Bangladesh. Parts of the the borough are no-go areas for non-Muslims and the social system there is separate development – what we used to call Apartheid when it was practised in South Africa. Of course, we condemned Apartheid in South Africa but we approve of it when it is practised in Yorkshire.

I exaggerate, surely? Well, how about this…

Ofsted’s schools inspectors have given a “good” rating to a Muslim school in Dewsbury which threatens to expel its students if they socialise with “outsiders.” The definition of an outsider is any non-Muslim Briton..

The Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury is praised by the education watchdog despite its pupils being taught not to speak to the media and being banned from watching television, listening to the radio or reading newspapers.

This was disclosed by SKY News in the week when David Cameron declared that improving integration was the “the struggle of our generation.”

You’re losing the struggle, Dave. In fact you’ve lost. For Dewsbury is not an isolated example of the Islamification of British life: as Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has pointed out, many parts of our country are similarly no-go areas for British white non-Muslims.

In this week’s speech, Cameron promised a counter-extremism bill in the autumn to tackle what he called “intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish.”

Meanwhile, Dave, Ofsted, part of a department of your government, praises and officially congratulates an institution which practises separate development. In its most recent inspection report Ofsted said, “The Islamic Institute of Education provides a good quality of education and meets its stated aims very well.”

Too right it does.

The school is housed in Dewsbury’s Markazi Mosque compound and run by the extreme Tablighi Jamaat sect, which imposes a strict Sharia code on students. The school has no website, but SKY News obtained copies of documents given to parents which state that students “socialising with outsiders will be expelled if there is no improvement after cautioning.”

The school’s Pupil and Parent Handbook contains a Sharia section which lists “Items that are prohibited in Islam… such as portable televisions, cameras, etc.”

Where in the Koran exactly does it say TV and cameras are forbidden?

The handbook says boarders are also banned from wearing un-Islamic garments and using music players or mobile phones at any time.

There are no  school trips but wait, – it can’t be all bad – there is no sex education.

Mosque elder Shabbir Daji, chairman of the school’s governing Shura – aye, there’s Shuras i’Yorkshire now, tha naws! – told SKY News the school “works for unity,” but would not comment on how its restrictions prepare children for life in Britain.

He added, “Our policy is to keep away from the media.”

I don’t criticise the Muslim governors of that school. They intend to promote their policy of Muslim supremacy and to hell with the Kaffirs. They are simply acting in their own interests according to their own lights – if one may use the word light in such encircling darkness.

I do blame Ofsted for their policy of pre-emptive self-abasement.

Don’t be found guilty of “Islamophobia” – whatever that is. Don’t say anything to upset the community. But it isn’t a community. The word we are looking for is ghetto.

17 Jul

Come into my (nuclear) parlour

This marvellous nuclear deal between the West and Iran, aka The West’s sell-out to the duplicitous ayatollahs over the issue of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme is already producing consequences likely to cause a disaster for British subjects. David Cameron – smelling the money – has cuddled up to President Rouhani in a twenty-minutes phone call. Both leaders declared that the deal struck in Vienna could and should lead rapidly to improvements in relations between Iran and Britain, improved trade and better security.

President Rouhani tweeted that Cameron had welcomed the deal and “Iran’s constructive role in the negotiations.”

At this point in the conversation, Dave was seen to fall to his knees and purposefully place his head in the giant mousetrap prepared for him by Rouhani.

So the deal is constructive, is it? Constructive for whom? Not for Israelis who must continue to live under the threat of nuclear annihilation. Not for Britain, now left to deal with the increased risk of terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Iran. But certainly and solely constructive for the Iranians who will now be able to develop their atom bombs more or less unhindered and spend the $160billions coming to them from lifted sanctions on their violent jihad against the West.

Rejoice ye Hezbollah and give thanks all ye Houthis, for thou art about to receive a generous pay-rise!

I can still hardly bring myself to believe that the West’s pusillanimous leaders could fall for such a trick. They have carried appeasement well beyond anything dreamed of by the treacherous Chamberlain, Halifax and Butler in the 1930s.

But there is one aspect of this “peace dividend” which is beyond fantasy.  Rouhani tweeted:  “The British Prime Minister has expressed interest in re-opening embassies and expansion of ties in the framework of mutual interest and respect, plus combating terrorism in the region.”

Re-opening embassies? What was it John McEnroe used to say to the umpire, “You cain’t be serious!”

Iran has form when it comes to embassies. Are we to forget the seizure of fifty-two American diplomats in Iran in 1979 and their captivity for 144 days? Or the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980? Then there was the storming and subsequent ransacking of the British Embassy in Tehran as recently as 2011.

Does a man – even a man as weak and gullible as Cameron – propose to hand the barbarous Iranian regime further opportunities for hostage-taking and political blackmail?

I can just imagine Rouhani’s next tweet: “’Come into my parlour,’ said the spider to the fly.”

07 Jul

A woman of evasions

Ten years ago I was living in the City of London, only three hundred yards from St Paul’s and the Rev’d Canon Lucy Winkett who came on Thought for the Day this morning to reflect on the bombings of 7th July. It was a strange performance. Ms Winkett began by saying that one of the first indications something was amiss was that mobile phones weren’t working. This, she said, “Cut us off from one another.” It made me wonder how people were not cut off from one another before mobile phones were invented. But then she got serious:

She said that on 7/7, “Prayer became less a petition and more an accusation, and for many God was indicted.”

I confess I had to go to the BBC’s website and play that sentence again and again to try to discover its meaning. I still haven’t discovered its meaning, so I shall have to resort to asking questions and hope that someone reading my blog will be able to help.

Question: Why bring poor old God into it? I thought the atrocities committed that day were perpetrated by a group of Muslim lads from Yorkshire. Surely, if anyone is to be accused or indicted, Lucy, they were the ones?

Question: Was God being blamed because political correctness demands we don’t blame the Muslims – in spite of what the historical facts reveal?

Then Lucy reached her peroration and told us firmly that “the easy language of faith” is inadequate for the understanding of what happened on 7/7

Question: What is easy about faith and its language?

I can speak only from personal experience and a lifetime’s conversations with teachers and friends about the matter of faith, and I can tell you that neither they nor I has ever felt that faith and the language of faith come easily.

Question: Of whom was Lucy speaking when she mentioned users of the easy language of faith? I’ve never met any.

Question: Is there, please, someone reading this who does find that faith comes easily and therefore that its language can be described as easy?

Perhaps there is only one person who finds faith and its language easy. Perhaps that person is Rev’d Lucy Winkett?

Can you hear me, Lucy?

01 Jul

“Is that a suicide belt you’re wearing, Tariq, or are you just pleased to see me?”

If you can’t hear me very well this morning, it’s owing to the neighing coming from the bolting horses and all the stable doors being belatedly slammed shut. For behold, our intelligent, wise and on-the-ball government has just announced that we need new anti-radicalisation laws. This creative dispatch comes fourteen years after the attacks on New York and ten years after the London bombings.

Never mind, let’s look at what the new arrangements will involve.

The new rules will require public bodies to identify and report those “vulnerable” to extremist views. Strange use of the word “vulnerable” and it reminds me of that other odd usage, as in “those vulnerable to committing a crime.”

Deciding your vocation is to be one of Allah’s suicide bombers is not, I suggest, about vulnerability; it is produced by a psychotic and murderous disposition. The prime minister wonders aloud why all these young Muslims are taking themselves off to Syria to learn how to be murderers or sex-slaves.

Because they want to, Dave. Because they want to. The “cause” of radicalisation is a perverse exercise of the faculty of free will.

Councils will have to “consider whether publicly available computers should limit access to extremist material.”

What’s to consider?

“Schools will need to demonstrate they are protecting pupils from being led to terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies in place to identify children at risk, and intervening as appropriate.”

So this is our government’s secret weapon against terrorism: more bureaucracy, clip-boards and box—ticking. “Safeguarding” didn’t deter career paedophiles and it will do nothing to curtail the activities of those just itching to rampage with a Kalashnikov and kill as many Kuffars as possible in a shopping centre or, as it might be, on a beach 

You needn’t be afraid of a terrorist attack, for our government will keep you safe. We have stockpiled huge quantities of jargon and we are prepared to deploy this jargon at a moment’s notice to face the threats that confront us..

For example, “Universities will have to carry out a risk assessment to determine where and how students might be radicalised.”

A risk assessment – that’s the device which strikes terror into the heart of every jihadist

“Healthcare workers should be trained to recognise signs of people being drawn into extremism.” Are these the same health care workers who fail to notice when an aged hospital patient is dying of thirst?

“Prison bosses should carry out cell-sharing risk assessments for inmates.”

Of course, before you can kill your terrorist, you have to recognise him for what he is. I mean that tall chap with a beard and going into the kebab house might have no more sinister intent than breaking his Ramadan fast. How to decide if he wants to blow us all up? Education Secretary Nicky Morgan suggests we enquire as to whether he has “an extreme intolerance of homosexuality.”

I can imagine the line of enquiry: “Excuse me, Sir but may I examine your suicide belt? And, incidentally, are you an admirer of Doris Day and Judy Garland?”

Predictably, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Christine Blower, said the Government’s Prevent programme was “causing significant nervousness and confusion among teachers.”

Well, that’s the first thing I’ve heard in its favour. Anything that scares the chalk out of members of the NUT can’t be all bad.

Of course, do any of these things and the enemy will soon see you off by shouting, “Islamophobia!”



15 Jun

What causes stuff?

“Britain’s youngest suicide bomber” – some appellation, eh? – Talha Asmal was described as “loving, caring, naive, innocent kind and affable.” I think those who thus praised him perhaps forgot to add “fanatical and murderous.” Now there is an investigation to discover what “caused” him to decide to become a murderer in the employ of Islamic State. There is a great industry in this business of looking for causes and I’m reminded of the case of Andreas Lubitz who committed mass murder by crashing a Germanwings aeroplane into the Alps. There has been a meticulous search for causes in his case too.

How about, in both cases, we were to say that they perpetrated those atrocities because they wanted to? Or have we suddenly become determinists and deny that there is such a faculty as freewill?

Determinism, looking for causes, is a very popular sport among those of a secular, positivistic, scientific disposition. This doctrine allows them to avoid having to take into account entities which they find problematic such as mind and will, moral qualities – or the lack of them.

The trouble with the deterministic view is that it logically entails the conclusion that, if no one is to be blamed for the wrong that they do, then no one can be praised when they do what is right. In short, ethics is abolished. There’s nothing either good or bad, but “causes” make things so.

So what of the Catholic nun who takes the place of a Jewish woman in the queue for the gas chamber? Or the policeman who dives for a second time into the freezing lake to save a child?

If all our actions are caused, then no villain is ever guilty and no hero deserves praise.

The deterministic world is one in which everything that we mean by a human being has been removed.

I have just enjoyed a duck egg on fried bread. I shall now spend the rest of the day trying to work out what “caused” me to eat my breakfast.

15 Mar

An every day story of psychopaths

The newspapers and TV continue their obsession with the three “vulnerable,” “straight A” Muslim girls who, on the proceeds of jewellery they stole from their parents, went off to Syria to join the enthusiastic representatives of the religion of peace and love. I hope this media obsession continues: we could have a new alternative soap opera on our hands here, even more exciting than The Archers whose writers and producers – though they are pretty good at producing lurid plot lines – have not yet got around to burning the village church in Ambridge or beheading the Rural Dean of Borchester.

The three “vulnerable” young ladies are now well set up in Raqqa where they live in houses confiscated from members of the local population. Here they await the arrival of their husbands-to-be, blood-soaked psychopaths of Islamic State. I do hope that, courtesy of continued co-operation between the IS website and the British Press, we get to see the arrival of these handsome young men and that there will be video footage of the weddings: the jihadi grooms in their fetching black masks and their brides smiling effulgently  – we imagine  – under their Halloween costumes.

It won’t be long before the children come along. In the nature of the case, we shall not of course see videos of their Christenings or Bar Mitzvas, but it is to be hoped that we might be let in to the boy children’s instruction in general misogyny and wholesale iconoclasm; and even that we might receive first-hand reports of the girl children’s genital mutilation.

Then at last will come the great day when the whole family goes out on a picnic during which the excited kids get to watch their very first beheading. The older children might even be allowed to participate.

This brilliant new soap opera will require a signature tune, of course: Dum dee dum dee dum dee dum; Dum dee dum dee da da: Smite the kuffars dum dee dum; Allahu dum dee Akbar

16 Feb

Christianist terrorism

I haven’s been blogging this year so far because I’m trying to write a humorous book about the great philosophers, but recent events have encouraged me to open my blog again this morning.

All these terrorist atrocities in so many countries: it’s time we asked who is responsible. I think it’s religious people. Take those murders in Paris last month: the security forces know damn well that these were perpetrated by  a lone wolf Primitive Methodist. The carnage in Libya? I’m afraid it’s those pesky Baptists again. Massacres in Nigeria? It’s those violent Lutherans. Beheadings in Syria? They’re all the fault of an extreme sect of the United Reform Church. Burning people alive in iraq? Look, this is obviously the work of the Salvation Army. And now the shocking murders in Copenhagen? I have it on good authority that these were carried out by a disaffected traditionalist in the Church of England who had for many years prior to 2012 been known to frequent St Michael’s Cornhill where he had been radicalised and gone on to receive training at a camp in Chipping Camden organised by the Prayer Book Society.

It is quite scandalous that these murderers on three continents are allowed to hide behind their religion. Our authorities are so hidebound by political correctness that they will not identify these vile people and root them out. I notice that the Archbishop of Canterbury has wearily trotted out the old lie: “These terrorists are not representative of Christianity which is a religion of peace and love.” If this is the case, Archbishop, why are all the perpetrators members of that faith?  Justin Welby adds, “These people are not Christians but Christianists.”

Respectfully, Archbishop, that’s rubbish

What is to be done? The General Synod, the Methodist Conference and the Baptist Union must act together and send special forces into bring and buy sales and coffee mornings and root out the culprits. They must be given no refuge – no, not even at beetle drives, coffee mornings and the Church Lads’ Brigade hut.

22 Dec

Dying by euphemism

A man in Dijon has been described as “unbalanced” after he drove his car deliberately into pedestrians while shouting Allahu Akbar. A very creative use of a word, that “unbalanced.” It makes me think we should revise our vocabulary when describing perpetrators of atrocities. So, we might say, Hitler was “a little bit naughty” when he slaughtered six million Jews. And Stalin should be excused for murdering twenty million. He was probably feeling “somewhat off colour old bean” and perhaps he had been taking painkillers.

Come to think of it, there are more than a few people in the world who must be – shall we say? – “not feeling too clever.”

In Nigeria they burn villages and kill the inhabitants, abduct girls, rape them and make them convert to their perverted religion. There are similar goings-on at the hands of chaps who are perhaps “not feeling too good” in Mali, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya. Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. While in Pakistan feeling “not quite top hole” causes devotees of the same evil cult to murder Christians, burn down churches and shoot schoolchildren dead.

I blame the NHS. How about you?