You are 'HERE' . "The pale blue dot"

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mosul


The Islamic State militias set fire to a 1,800 year-old church in Mosul

From Al-Ahram (published in Egypt 24 July, 2014): 

"The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has seized Mosul along with other parts of northern Iraq and over 30 per cent of the territories of adjacent Syria, last Friday decided to evict the few remaining Christian families from the town after giving them the choice of forced conversion or the payment of a special tax, the jizyah, which was paid by non-Muslims during the Ottoman period in return for protection and exemption from military service...

...these Nazi-style terrorists had imprinted the Arabic letter n, standing for nassara [Christians] on houses to indicate that the residents should be forced to leave and that the houses should be confiscated as the property of the Islamic State."  Read 'here'.

"All are invited to take part in a day of prayer on Friday 1 August, 2014 for our most neglected brethren in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East". Details here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Some good news for a change



Meriam Ibrahim who was spared a death sentence for renouncing Islam, the 'religion of peace', has been flown to Italy. Story here.

She was sentenced to hang for apostasy by a Sudanese court and gave birth while shackled in jail. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Islamist extremism in Birmingham and Mosul



Today, the government defines extremism as "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs." - Source here.

From the Government Report "Tackling extremism in the UK": 
"There is a range of extremist individuals and organisations, including Islamists, the far right and others. As the greatest risk to our security comes from Al Qa’ida and like-minded groups, and terrorist ideologies draw on and make use of extremist ideas, we believe it is also necessary to define the ideology of Islamist extremism. [1.4] This is a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional religious practice. It is an ideology which is based on a distorted interpretation of Islam, which betrays Islam’s peaceful principles, and draws on the teachings of the likes of Sayyid Qutb."

Either with an eye on voting intentions or with its head buried deep in the oil bearing sand Her Majesty's Government continues to perpetuate the myth that Islam is a religion of peace. But that is not peace as we understand the word. In Islamic terms there will be peace when all have been converted to Islam. Before Cameron, Blair, Bush and Clinton all had the same message of 'peace' in the video "Islam - What The West Needs To Know":


Clinton says in the introduction, "No religion condones the murder of innocent men, women and children". Try telling that now to Mosul's last Christians as they flee Iraq after a weekend ultimatum left Mosul residents with three choices: convert to Islam, pay jizya (a poll tax levied on non-Muslims), or die at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), see here

As Serge Trifkovic says in response [move forward to position 3.30], "The tendency of Western political leaders to deny the connection between orthodox Islamic mainstream and terrorist violence is replicated in the Universities and the media, wherever you look both in Western Europe and  in North America. The members of the elite class have this tendency to proclaim Islam, some mysterious authentic Islam, to be peaceful and to be tolerant and those Muslims prone to violence are proclaimed to be non-representative. Well I would really appreciate if people who make such claims could then explain the continuity of violence from the earliest day of Islam, from the earliest days of the prophet and his immediate successors throughout the thirteen centuries of recorded history".

As if to prove the point, the above mentioned Government Report from the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism refers to "a distorted interpretation of Islam, which betrays Islam’s peaceful principles". So when will there be a peaceful end to the Islamic persecution of Christian minorities around the world? When they are dead or fled?

Less extreme but with the same motives Islamist activists have been at work in Birmingham schools (here). In his investigations, Peter Clarke the former head of counter-terrorism found evidence of a "sustained" attempt to impose hard line Muslim views (interview here). He found an "intolerant and aggressive" Islamist ethos in some Birmingham schools brought about by governors intent on promoting an ultra-conservative version of their faith. That ethos included homophobia, sexism, antipathy to other forms of Islam and in one case denial that Private Lee Rigby had been killed by Islamic extremists (here).

"Islam is on track to become the dominant religion in Britain within the next generation, according to new census data published by the British government" (here). Unless members of the "elite class" take the trouble to understand the true nature of the religious ideology which results in submission wherever Islam dominates it will not be long before we in Britain will be invited to "convert to Islam, pay jizya (a poll tax levied on non-Muslims), or die".

The Rorate Caeli blog is carrying the story from Le Figaro, "Why the Global Conspiracy of Silence on Persecution of Christians in Iraq?" Why indeed? Who next?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Augustina of Canterbury


The Cathedra Augustini           From Wikipedia
Concluding his interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show (here) before the vote on women bishops was taken at York Synod, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, claimed that he would be "delighted to see a female successor on the Chair of St Augustine in his lifetime". 

Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

From Canterbury Cathedral history: "St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived on the coast of Kent as a missionary to England in 597 AD. He came from Rome, sent by Pope Gregory the Great. It is said that Gregory had been struck by the beauty of Angle slaves he saw for sale in the city market and despatched Augustine and some monks to convert them to Christianity. 

Augustine was given a church at Canterbury (St Martin’s, after St Martin of Tours, still standing today) by the local King, Ethelbert whose Queen, Bertha, a French Princess, was already a Christian. This building had been a place of worship during the Roman occupation of Britain and is the oldest church in England still in use. Augustine had been consecrated a bishop in France and was later made an archbishop by the Pope. He established his seat within the Roman city walls (the word cathedral is derived from the the Latin word for a chair ‘cathedra’, which is itself taken from the Greek ‘kathedra’ meaning seat.) and built the first cathedral there, becoming the first Archbishop of Canterbury".

Move on 1400 years. From 'yourcanterbury' 2014 (here). The italics are mine: "The Rev Kes Grant is school chaplain at St Augustine Academy in Maidstone. She admits when the Synod rejected the proposal 20 months ago, it shook her faith in the Church. Speaking to KoS this week, she said: “It’s bloody fantastic. It’s been a long time coming.” 

The Church ordained its first two women priests in 1994, She added: “When that vote didn’t go through in 2012 I was absolutely gutted - even though in hindsight it was right because the legislation wasn’t right. “That morning I didn’t even know if I wanted to be in the Church of England anymore when it couldn’t even come into the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

“When you visit your doctor, you don’t stop to ask if they are gay or married or a woman. You just see someone because they are qualified for the job. No one bats an eyelid about women in senior jobs in any other section of society. “The Church really needed to get a grip. Telling people they are not welcome is not what the love of God is all about. When they do things like that I don’t recognise the Jesus of the Bible.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has been a supporter of the proposals and described the vote as “an adventure in faith and hope”."

An adventure for some; the secularation of the Church of England for others. As for faith, there have been numerous threats that women would leave the Church if they didn't get their own way while those of faith rather than fancy have had to battle against the odds on being told that they are not wanted in this Church.

One has to wonder what 'Augustina' of Canterbury will believe when she occupies the Chair of St Augustine but we already have a pretty good idea from existing trends and from the example of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States here. It beggars belief that bishops of the Church of England have done this.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oh well done girls!


Photo PA

From Christian Today (here): "Women and the Church (WATCH) had set its sights on seeing the Anglican Church welcome female bishops. Now that it's been agreed, it's time to look at which other structures prevent women flourishing and progressing within the Church. It's not enough to allow women to be church leaders, when there are much stronger, subliminal forces at work, argues Jody Stowell, vicar of St Michael's and All Angels Harrow and on the WATCH leadership team".

"Our liturgies are very male, our songs are male, there's lots of male language for God – and our language creates our world," says Stowell. "When women go into that situation, they are constantly imbibing the fact that God's male and it's not really a place for them."

And here: The General Synod meeting in York backed a proposal to allow clergy to "dress down" at services and exchange the robes and other vestments worn at Morning and Evening Prayer and Holy Communion for more casual clothing.

Having already observed some female creativity in the getting noticed department the mind boggles when our liturgies become very female, our songs are female and there's lots of female language for God.

In the micro world the Church of England now inhabits this is seen as being relevant to society. In the real world of mother Church, this is the reality: "The decision to ordain women, which the Church of England took in 1992, damaged the relationships between our Churches, and the introduction of female bishops has eliminated even a theoretical possibility for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in the Anglican hierarchy" (here). 

Fond of asking rhetorical questions liberals like to ask what would Jesus have done if there is no biblical evidence to support their argument. Well there is here. More on Unity in the Church here.

Oh, very well done girls! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The morning after



"David Cameron hails vote on women bishops as a 'Great Day For Equality' "(here). His deputy Nick Clegg said "Allowing women to become bishops is another long overdue step towards gender equality in senior positions. I welcome the Church of England’s decision which means that women can now play a full and equal role in the important work of the Church" (here). 

Isn't that fantastic! An opportunist and an atheist, the top two in government, while scurrying around trying to redress the gender imbalance in their coalition take time out to applaud a decision on a subject they clearly know nothing about. 

Questioned on Newsnight last night the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, insisted that the vote had nothing to do with being relevant to society. The debate had been 'theological' indicating that he must have been switched off when supporters trotted out time and time again that it was about relevance and equality in today's world. However, I must give credit to one lady supporter who had a different approach. Without batting an eyelid she listed from the Bible as many women as she could in the time available before declaring that scripture proved women should be bishops. She should go far.

Pushed on the wider agenda of new Anglicanism Justin Welby declined to comment on same sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy on the grounds that he just wanted to enjoy the moment after Synod's momentous decision. But he wasn't deterred from talking about Abp George Carey's intervention on assisted dying, giving the impression that there is much more to come as imported 'theology' continues to dominate the thinking of the House of Bishops. In Australia recently a judge claimed that incest was no longer a taboo suggesting that it is on a par with homosexuality (here) while in California: "Governor signs bill replacing words 'husband' and 'wife' in state law" (here) so plenty of scope for being even more relevant to society.

Now that the enabling legislation is out of the way the next step requires women bishops to be fast-tracked into the House of Lords (here) where they can make more 'theological' decisions. Will that be before or after "theology" is redefined by the Government I wonder?

In conclusion, spare a thought for the poor woman from Women and the Church who said she had worked for years for this day. Now, at last she feels 'valued'! 

I wonder how Mary, Martha.... felt?

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Incomprehensible"




The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that there was a "good chance" the first woman bishop in the Church of England would be announced by the end of 2015. He added that to the general public, the exclusion of women was "incomprehensible" (see here).

Other matters which the general public find incomprehensible include the Incarnation and the Resurrection.

Not only the general public. But the vote today is not about the Nicene Creed agreed by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church centuries ago. It is about politics!