Storm in a Teacup?

More like a hurricane in an eye bath.

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Should she have gone to Spec Savers?

This is Ruth Davidson. She is leader of the Scottish Conservatives and therefore an important and influential person. Her words carry a lot of weight. This is what she says:

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Daily Telegraph headline

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This is the sort of cross Christians can choose to wear if they so wish. This is the cross – not a crucifix – I normally wear around my neck. It is a symbol of my religion and, apart from occasionally getting entangled in bushes when I am gardening, it doesn’t impede me physically in any way at all.

 

 

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This is a burqa.

 

It is not a symbol of religion, according to Taj Hargey, Imam at Oxford Islamic Congregation. In a letter sent to The Times, Dr Hargey said there was “no Koranic legitimacy” for the burka, adding it was “a nefarious component of a trendy gateway theology for religious extremism and militant Islam”.

 

 

I would think it would certainly be a serious impediment to almost everything that one does in the normal course of outdoor life — which is when it is worn. Walking must be difficult and running impossible. Sight must be severely restricted. Hearing must surely be impaired. Imagine never feeling the sun on your face or the breeze in your hair. Inevitably, hidden inside something more nearly resembling a tent, the wearer must feel isolated, invisible and yet conspicuous in equal measure.

Several  countries around the world have already decided that this particular garment is an affront to human dignity and have banned its use in public. Boris Johnson hasn’t suggested banning the burqa — quite the reverse. He doesn’t think we should. Given how very few there are in Britain there doesn’t seem much point. All he did was make a very British funny comment likening a person in a burqa to a letter box. But Boris got one thing wrong.  You couldn’t post a letter in a burqa – it doesn’t have a slit. He meant the niqab.

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Fortunately, it’s August and the Silly Season in the media, otherwise I would be seriously worried about the sanity, to say nothing of the sight, of many of our leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Absurdity Goes On

Stop Press. Have just caught up with this bit of nonsense. Screen shots of an item of important news from yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. Enjoy!

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Get the L out of here.

 

 

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I’ve always been grateful to God for giving me a sense of humour. It has been my salvation so many times. Recently, I have begun to appreciate even more my sense of the absurd. In fact, I am coming to the conclusion that it is through a sense of the absurd that God is going to show us the dire straits we’ve got ourselves into. Some people have made the fatal error of taking themselves and their perceived needs too seriously. What is worse, they have done infinite damage by convincing those in places of power and influence that they must also have due respect for all this nonsense.

Remember when the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, stood up and assured us that any sort of coupling, between any sort of gender, to create any sort of “family” unit, was as good as any other because that was the way the world is now. Untold studies and statistics have proved that children brought up by a man married to a woman in a long term relationship do better than any other arrangement. That is just a simple truth but very few people thought the Archbishop was being absurd.

Here are two pieces of news that have helped to convince me of God’s sense of the absurd.

Stonewall, the gay rights organisation, explain why they exist.

“We’re here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone. We believe we’re stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain – in some of our greatest institutions – so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.”

Unfortunately, yesterday’s Times explained how the organisation has managed to upset the Lesbians.

“Lesbians have accused Stonewall, the gay rights organisation, of erasing biological women by saying that ‘male-bodied persons with penises’ can be lesbians.
The Lesbian Rights Alliance (LRA) has sent an open letter to Stonewall demanding that it take the L out of LGBTQ because it makes ‘lesbians invisible and erases lesbians through its promotion of the Trans Agenda’.
“The 135 signatories say that Stonewall supports the absurd idea that male-bodied persons with penises can be lesbians’.”

Well, it is absurd. But there’s so much that’s absurd about LGBTQAI brigade statements. Those 7 letters could have another 64 initials added to them to include the 71 different genders that are supposed to exist at the moment. Once one gender, such as the Lesbians, break away that will be the start of chaos. I foresee a time when there will  be a ‘Pride’ march every week to cater for every category. There’ll be a Bi-gender march, not to be confused with the Non-Binary march, and a Trans-sexual female march which is not the same as a Trans-gender female march. In addition, Agenders, and Androgynes appear to be quite separate from the Androgynous, to say nothing of the Two-spirits or the simply Other.

What worries me is that this nonsense isn’t limited to the 2% of the population who claim to belong to one or other of the 71 different genders. If you don’t believe me look at this from yesterday’s Guardian. Even the most respectable and dignified of organisations can’t seem to see the absurdity of what they are doing.

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‘“A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason,” says new guidance issued by the Freemasons’ governing body, the United Grand Lodge of England. Those who have transitioned from female to male can also apply, the guidance makes clear.’

How can any journalist write that and not question the logic? Why would anyone who had loaded his body with hormones and had his penis chopped off, in order to become a woman want to join a men only organisation. Doesn’t that strike you as really, truly mad?

How (not) to spend £10 million

On 23rdJune, under the title “Golly! What a lot of jolly lolly!” I published a blog of gratitude — well, sort of – to the six bishops of the Church in Wales who want to give their congregations £10 million to spend on Evangelism. The money is designed for people not buildings. The number of churches being closed down completely, or doing additional duty as village shops, post offices, play centres or holiday lets is increasing all the time. So, if churches are empty then we need people to fill them. I still regret that my little church can’t have a couple of thousand to turn a broom cupboard into a toilet but that is being selfish.

Ten million to evangelise — think Billy Graham — seems almost too good to be true.

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Most things that sound too good to be true generally are. Not that I’m saying the bishops have been lying. The money is probably there. It’s just that, after several weeks of cudgelling my brains, I’m beginning to suspect it may be difficult to spend, other than by doing it all officially or by hiring yet more inadequate clerical managers.

What is Evangelism?

Simple answer — The commitment to or act of publicly preaching the Gospel, with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ.

And the first step must surely be to turn to Christ’s own Advice Manual, the gospels themselves, to find out how to set about it.

Sadly, on this subject the Gospels are useless. Certainly, Jesus gives clear instructions when he sends the twelve disciples out in Luke, 9. The trouble is, he specifically forbids them to take any money with them.

Verse 3  “And he said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bread, nor money;”

Not much help there, then. But in Luke, 10 he sends out 72 people. A big band like that should need more detailed organisation and must surely involve costs.

Verse 4 “Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals . . .”

That couldn’t be much clearer, could it? Not even a phone!

However, in verses 2 and 3 Jesus shows that he understands some of the problems we face. He says “the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.” And he also adds a stark warning. “I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”

 He was certainly right, there. A gentleman called Allan Coote can confirm this.

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Allan Coote, a London bus driver, reads the Bible outside St Paul’s Cathedral

If you stand up on the steps of a great cathedral and start reading from the Bible it’s quite likely that the police will be called. You might think it was because you had offended an atheist or someone from an alternative religion but if it was outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London it’s the Dean and Chapter who are the wolves.

This year, Mr Allan Coote, who believes his voice is a gift given for the purpose of being heard, has started to read the Bible outside St Paul’s Cathedral. So far, no member of the public has complained about Mr Coote, but that hasn’t stopped cathedral staff, who explained they were “just following orders”, calling in the police numerous times.

On one occasion the police officer concerned was heard to say “I am of the opinion that this chap isn’t causing any breach of the peace. This chap isn’t impeding anyone. I’m happy for him to stay. This chap is reading from the Bible. I feel it would be remiss of me to move him on in a place of worship.” Thank God our police still have common sense even as it becomes increasingly clear that many clergy are losing all their sense, not just the common sort.

I can’t believe it makes any difference if you hear the Sermon on the Mount read by a bus driver with a booming voice — Allan— outside the cathedral or a robed cleric inside, except there are many more people outside.

The Dean has compromised. He says they have a policy of ‘limited disturbance’ and they will let Allan read the Bible for 30 minutes a week. I wonder what St Paul himself would think about such a pusillanimous statement. It is entirely lawful to preach the Gospel and hand out Christian literature on the streets to the general public. But Allan Coote wasn’t even preaching; nor was he impeding anyone. He wasn’t even reading controversial bits which some might consider insulting or threatening. He was simply reading the Sermon on the Mount.

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Father Mark Morris, erstwhile Chaplain of GCU

If he’d been in Glasgow during the Gay Pride March and had been reading 1st Corinthians 6.v9 he would have been asking to be arrested. Look what happened to Father Mark Morris, the Catholic Chaplain at Glasgow Caledonian University. After the march, he held something called ‘A Rosary of reparation for the gross offence to God which is Pride Glasgow’. This was in his own Roman Catholic church, well away from the GCU campus, and to a mainly elderly and completely traditional congregation. The university, while adamant that it supports inclusivity and diversity, immediately sacked Father Mark. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, supporting this decision, said that, “As a society we must champion equality and fairness at all times.” I presume that means she also champions the motto of the City of Glasgow**.

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Front of St Asaph Cathedral. No people to be offended but no people to hear, either!

So, to get back to spending £10 million. Suppose I start by reading the Bible outside St Asaph Cathedral and then move into the streets of the city. Bishop Gregory wants people to concentrate on ‘being the church’ rather than merely ‘going to the church’ so I could argue that is what I am doing. Then, with luck, I will get arrested, and some of that £10m could be spent on bailing me out and paying the fine when I’m convicted. Photos of this eccentric octogenarian would surely appear in the North Wales Weekly and the Daily Post, thus giving much needed publicity to this endeavour at Evangelism. Are there any other octogenarians willing to join me?

**The city motto, “Let Glasgow Flourish”, is a truncated version of the original words attributed to St Kentigern, later called St Mungo. Originally the motto was “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word and the praising of thy name.” Glasgow Caledonian University doesn’t seem to know that.