Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
And so he should be. But what is he worried about?
Climate change. Of course.
There are two possibilities here.
Either Osama is an ignorant bloodthirsty hypocritical loon, and he really does believe that anthropogenic climate change is a bigger threat to world peace than he is.
OK, it’s certainly possible.
Or he is an intelligent bloodthirsty hypocritical loon, who knows that spending billions on trying to change something that cannot be changed will weaken Western economies and distract Western governments from the real threat. Him and his borg buddies.
And as for this: “What we are facing… calls for generous souls and brave men to take serious and prompt action to provide relief for their Muslim brothers in Pakistan.”
It seems to have escaped his notice that it was Western governments who protected Muslims during the war in the Balkans, Western governments who saved Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, Western governments who came to the aid of Indonesia after the tsunami, Western governments who provide most of the support and aid for the Palestinian Authority, Western governments who are working, at a cost of billions of dollars and the lives of their own young men and women, to build safe and stable societies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Western governments who are providing most of the aid to flood affected regions of Pakistan.
News last night that my friend of more than thirty years, the Right Reverend Ross Davies, has resigned as Bishop of The Murray.
Over the last year, a Special Tribunal of the Anglican Church has been meeting to consider charges brought against Bishop Davies by the Archbishop of Adelaide and the Bishop of Willochra.
These charges included disgraceful conduct, wilful violation of church ordinances and wilful and habitual disregard of his consecration vows.
The Tribunal was to hand down its findings today.
It is not clear whether the Tribunal will still make its findings public. That the Bishop has accepted a payout of $150,000, whereas up till now he had been insisting he would not leave unless given close to $1 million, suggests that a deal may have been done – ‘Leave now, and leave with some diginity, or …’
There seems little doubt that the charges would have been upheld. This would have given The Murray’s Diocesan Council grounds to reaffirm its earlier vote of no confidence, and a firm basis for his dismissal.
I am still concerned for Ross’ well-being. He must be dreadfully confused and unhappy. He seems unable to see or believe that he could have changed the outcome by changing the way he behaved.
Even at the beginning of this year, if he had genuinely apologised for (and not the previous ‘I’m sorry if anyone is upset’ kind of apology) the bullying and manipulation, lies, vindictiveness and financial mismanagement, and promised to try to undo the harm he had done, and genuinely tried to do so, he could have stayed in office with the good will of both people and clergy.
There has always been a great deal of respect for the office of Bishop, and a great deal of caution and compassion in the way some very difficult issues have been handled. Credit to Archbishop Jeffrey and Bishop Garry for their attempts to juggle care for Bishop Davies, justice for the Diocese of The Murray, and proper and open processes.
I have been grateful too, as have others, for the enormous amount of work the Voice of the Laity has done, for the fair-mindedness it has shown all the way through, and for its steadfastness in the face of constant and often unpleasant opposition.
This outcome is not something to celebrate, yet many people, and faithful lay people in particular, have worked hard to find a way for Bishop Davies and the Diocese to move forward. That will now be possible.
No deal was made. The Bishop has demanded that the Tribunal drop the charges against him. His resignation seems to have been an attempt to forestall the tribunal’s making, or making public, any findings against him.
His argument seems to be that since he has resigned, and purports to have relinquished his holy orders (something he cannot do, as he knows), the Tribunal now has no jurisdiction over him, and cannot properly investigate any claims against him, nor make any findings on the basis of those claims.
He is wrong.
The claims relate to Ross Davies’ behaviour when he was Bishop of The Murray. The Tribunal has not only the right, but the responsibility, to investigate those charges, and if the evidence warrants doing so, to make appropriate findings and recommendations.
The Tribunal has found eight of the nine charges against Bishop Davies proven, and recommended he be removed from office.
Disgraceful conduct in this context means behaviour which, if known, would bring the Church into disrepute.
The tribunal found he bullied and threatened parishioners and regularly attended services for other denominations.
‘Regularly attended services for other denominations’ sounds trivial.
But it was more that he regularly attended other churches in Adelaide when churches in his own rural diocese had no priest, and it was part of his duty as Bishop to provide them with ministry.
A sad day, but a new beginning for the Diocese of the Murray.
A last update to this story. This is a link to the findings of the Special Tribunal. This document is in the public domain.
I am glad that there has been official recognition of the emotional abuse suffered by lay people and clergy over the last ten years. That recognition and validation is an important step in their healing, and a public demonstration of the church’s commitment to justice even in the most difficult circumstances.
However, I am sorry that every member of the Tribunal was from the liberal wing of the church.
The document linked above makes it clear that theological matters did not enter their considerations at all.
But perception matters, and the perception of fairness matters. Whatever the reasons, the fact is that the only two conservative anglo-catholic bishops in Australia have been forced out of office this year.
Given the view in some quarters that there is widespread persecution of traditionalist anglo-catholics in the Anglican Church of Australia, it was foolish not to take every possible step to ensure that the proceedings which led to those outcomes were above criticism.
Having said that, it is entirely possible that the Archbishop and the Primate did seek a credible, experienced conservative to sit on the Tribunal, and were unable to find one willing to do so.
I am sure Ross will now seek to be received into the Roman Catholic Church.
I hope they will find a ministry for him. He is a gifted teacher and administrator. It would a great pity if those abilties were lost.
A superb short article by Anthony Esolen at Touchstone Magazine’s Mere Comments blog:
It is a commonplace among our ruling class that religion is irrational and inherently divisive, fostering hatred of one group for another. On the rationality of religious faith, Christian philosophers and theologians have long spoken, and I am not going to repeat their arguments here. It is the supposed tendency to divide and to foster hatred that puzzles me.
Let us leave Islam out of consideration, and the largely defensive wars waged by Europeans against Islamic aggression. Where are the religious wars in human history? Name them. Not Greece against Persia, not Athens against Sparta, not Rome against Carthage, not the Germanic invaders against Rome. Where are all the religious wars? In the Middle Ages, the Church, in lay movements such as the Truce of God and the Peace of God, served to restrain the violence of the ruling class. Yes, medieval city warred against city, but the warfare was not religious, nor was it inspired by religion when in the late Renaissance, Catholic France under Richelieu cast her lot with the Protestant Scandinavians against their common foe, the Hapsburg empire. That Thirty Years’ War is the best candidate for a truly religious European war, and it is no doubt the one remembered most keenly by the philosophes of the eighteenth century. But England continued to war against France, not over religion but over control of various colonies. Name, one after another, every war waged by England, France, Spain, Germany, or Italy from the Thirty Years’ War until the present, and you will find much bloodshed, but not because of religious hatred.
I look at the last hundred years, and see hatred wherever a European people has turned away from its Christian heritage, to exalt some idol in the place of God. Look at Albania, that miserable nation. Look at the gulags in the Soviet Union, or the forcible elimination of Confucian piety under Mao’s cultural revolution. How many millions of people died of starvation in the Ukraine under Stalin, while the ruling class in America, represented by the liar Walter Duranty, looked demurely away? How many people of both parties in America, people of the ruling class again, whose religious faith was rather in “progress” than in Jesus Christ, looked benignly upon the rise of the nationalist Hitler, and praised his clear grasp upon the problems of population and eugenics? How many people of that same ruling class still give Mao a free pass, or forgive the dictator Castro for his excesses now and then? Spanish Catholics are loathed for having favored the nationalist Franco rather than the communists in the Spanish civil war — and what were they supposed to do, when the communists were murdering priests and nuns, as they had done shortly before, in Mexico?
And are safer in Western countries than in any Islamic country.
So says Muslim woman Raheel Raza, formerly of Pakistan:
The Pakistan ambassador gets up and leaves in obvious annoyance that a woman should be allowed to speak to him in this way. It would never happen in Pakistan!
She makes the same point, that she would not have the same freedom of expression in her country of birth.
Nor are Muslims victimised in the West. So, she says, they should stop whining and get on with being responsible citizens.
Incidentally, I am thoroughly fed up excuses for muslim violence which are based on claims of oppression and provocation by the West.
The simple fact is, the Koran and the example of Mohammed both encourage violence against unbelievers.
The usual response to this fact from islamic leaders and appeasers is to deny that it is so.
Then when examples from the life of Mohammed are given, and verses from the Koran and the Hadith, the claim is made that it is not fair to point the finger in this way, because the Koran and the Bible are morally equivalent since the Bible also includes verses which incite violence.
This is either dishonest or ignorant.
The Bible tells the story of God’s revelation of himself to a small desert tribe, who initially undertood him through their own culture and modes of thinking and acting, which were typical of the time.
Gradually, as the Jews understood the nature of God better, and the nature of their relationship to him, they were led from ‘an eye to an eye’ (meaning measured and comparable response to injury – already an improvement on existing law) to ‘Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who insult you and persecute you.’ (Matt 5:44)
In the Bible, the later verses of love and forgiveness overwrite the harsh verses of a thousand years earlier.
The Koran is exactly the other way around. It takes a small group of desert dwellers, and leads them from the savage temperament of their time, into even deeper savagery and cruelty.
The later verses of violent aggression overwrite the early verses of reluctant tolerance.
The Koran undoes the Bible. They are not morally equivalent.
In an address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to members of the Nicean Club at Lambeth Palace a couple of days ago. (The Nicean Club is a group of Anglicans who seek to strengthen relations between Anglicansim and the Orthodox churches.)
Why do the Churches, both East and West, still remember the Fathers of the Nicean and later Ecumenical Councils with such gratitude? Why are the great theologians of the past, the opponents of heresy, revered in the East as ‘great universal teachers and saints’ and in the West as ‘Doctors of the Church’? Because throughout the ages the Church believed it to be her principal task to safeguard the truth. Her foremost heroes were those confessors of the faith who asserted Orthodox doctrine and countered heresies in the face of new trends and theological and political innovations …
All current versions of Christianity can be very conditionally divided into two major groups – traditional and liberal. The abyss that exists today divides not so much the Orthodox from the Catholics or the Catholics from the Protestants as it does the ‘traditionalists’ from the ‘liberals’. Some Christian leaders, for example, tell us that marriage between a man and a woman is no longer the only way of building a Christian family: there are other models and the Church should become appropriately ‘inclusive’ to recognize alternative behavioural standards and give them official blessing. Some try to persuade us that human life is no longer an absolute value; that it can be terminated in a mother’s womb or that one can terminate one’s life at will. Christian ‘traditionalists’ are being asked to reconsider their views under the slogan of keeping abreast with modernity …
… we feel that many of our Anglican brothers and sisters betray our common witness by departing from traditional Christian values and replacing them by contemporary secular standards. I very much hope that the official position of the Anglican Church on theological, ecclesiological and moral issues will be in tune with the tradition of the Ancient Undivided Church and that the Anglican leadership will not surrender to the pressure coming from liberals.
It is a longish address, but well worth reading. I doubt many Anglicans will.
He is right to be angry. Why aren’t more people?
There is plenty to be angry about.
Sorry about another horrific video. This is sickening.
But when the world is appalled by the pastor of a tiny church threatening to burn a few copies of the Koran and then not doing so, and when even talking about doing so is enough to cause riots in which people are killed, and yet this kind of monstrous cruelty goes unremarked, we are in deep trouble.
On this day, September 11, Muslims burn US and UK flags outside the US embassy in London:
Other choice lines include ‘Queen and country go to hell!,’ ‘Burn, burn, USA!’
I think I agree with the loutish looking guy who appears near the end and tells them they are scum who should go back where they came from.
Interesting how placid the police are – they never express frustration or irritation as these loons trot out the usual nonsense: the US and UK are murdering Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are there because they hate Islam and want the wealth of those countries.
It astonishes me that Western political leaders still so absolutely and blindly refuse to believe what Muslims themselves say: that they want democracy to burn, that Allah will kill the kaffirs.
If someone says he intends to kill you and your family, and destroy everything you hold dear, how many times do you let him try before you believe he is serious, and do something to stop him?
Back in NYC, the mainstream media report ‘duelling protests’ as they try desperately to give the impression that as many people turned out to support the ground zero mosque as to oppose it.
Not a chance. It was more like 2000 to 40,000.
Jeremiah 6:14 ‘They have made light of the wounds of my people, saying “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.
Whether we like it or not, war is upon us.
Democracy and reason have an implacable enemy in Islam – these are the words of its leaders.
Many of that enemy now live amongst us, and believe, because their holy book tells them so, that the pretence of friendship, lies and violence are all acceptable methods of bringing about the ultimate victory of Islam.
We can choose to be Chamberlain or Churchill. But we can no longer cry “Peace, peace.”
What is wrong with the world?
A pastor in a tiny church decides to burn a few copies of the Koran because he believes it is evil.
This causes international outrage and threats of violence, and these responses are considered perfectly understandable.
If Pastor Jones had decided instead to burn a few Muslim children, like these Muslims decide to burn a few Christian children, would that have been better?
Before you click to watch this video, with these monsters shouting Allahu Akbar as children burn, be warned, this is horrible.
So where is the international outrage? Where are the questions about what kind of book is considered by its readers to justify this sort of behaviour?
It is likely Youtube will remove that video as being offensive to Muslims (!). If so, I will upload the video in flv format.
Or, to be more accurate, one Australian export, Sheikh Feiz Muhammad.
Feiz Muhammad, a former Sydney boxer, now Muslim teacher, has called for the execution by beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. And for that matter, anyone who insults Islam. Or the prophet. Or that funny tea cosy he’s wearing on his head.
You can hear the lecture, in perfect Australian, on the website of Dutch newpsaper De Telegraaf.
So no, dear Australian ABC news, De Telegraaf is not reporting it has a recording, or claiming it has a recording of Shiekh Feiz. It has a recording. And you can listen to it.
News. Accurate reporting. Remember that?
Of course Wilders is a racist, a firebrand, making a fuss about nothing, and makes a living out of stirring up trouble. Anywhere there is trouble involving Muslims, it is someone else’s fault. If he just kept his mouth shut, he wouldn’t have anything to worry about.
After all the Sheikh says on his own website, for all to see, that Islam in its true form is only a religion of Peace and not violence.
So how could he call for anyone to be beheaded? It doesn’t even make sense.
Well, there was the whole Undercover Mosque thing. But that wasn’t fair. The imans didn’t know those people were there.
So to recap: Geert Wilders says Islam is violent and irrational. Representative of Islam says it isn’t, and anyone who disagrees should be killed.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah, the party of Allah, has placed 15,000 rockets on the border of Israel.
Israel’s ambassor to the US, Michael Oren:
.. said the rockets also have bigger payloads and are “far more accurate” than those fired four years ago.
“In 2006, many of their missiles were basically out in the open, in silos and the Israeli air force was able to neutralize a great number of them,” Oren said.
“Today those same missiles have been placed under hospitals, and homes and schools because Hezbollah knows full well if we try to defend ourselves against them, we will be branded once again as war criminals,” he added.
And back at the ranch…
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah, says the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are pointless because there will never be any peace while Israel exists, and are even more pointless because the filthy Zionist entity will soon be wiped off the map anyway.
A tribute to those who suffered so horribly during the siege at Beslan.
If you have the stomach for it, and you should, Pam Geller has more detail on what happend at Beslan.
Not all Muslims are evil. Most are decent, kind, generous.
But as long as Mohammed – murderer, torturer, rapist, pedophile – remains a moral exemplar, as long as groups of Muslims rape and torture and murder in the name of the prophet and their faith, and as long as Muslim leaders decline to speak out plainly, unequivocally, publicly, against acts of terrorism, Islam will be regarded with suspicion.
From anti-jihad site the Religion of Peace:
Ramadan 2010 Scorecard
|Day 14||In the name of|
|In the name of|
And this picture:
Does anyone still not think there is a problem here?
And just to make what should not need to be stated absolutely clear, I don’t have a problem with muslims. I have two I count as friends – a Turkish man and an Indonesian woman.
She is more serious about her faith than he. She fasts, prays, keeps Ramadan, does not eat pork or lobster. But when I asked her to name a few things in the Koran she found especially inspiring, she could not answer. Eventually she admitted she had never read it.
Neither of my two muslim friends, it seems to me, have any real idea what their religion teaches.
A problem with muslims? No. A problem with Islam? Yes.
And for those who insist there is no moral difference between Islam and Christianity, because of, say, the Spanish Inquisition, it might be worth remembering the number of people killed every year in the name of Allah is greater than the number of people killed after being handed over to secular authorities by the Spanish Inquisition in its entire 350 year history.
That count of jihad murders does not include the deaths that would have occurred had numerous other plots and attacks succeeded.
Even if Christianity had been as bad a thousand years ago as Islam is now (and it wasn’t) why on earth would that be a reason not to take the present threat seriously?
And not radical islamists?
Given that Sarah is an attractive, powerful, intelligent woman who is successful in her own right and has challenged and beaten corrupt men and corporations?
And that she doesn’t believe, for example:
- Women are inferior to men.
- Women should have fewer rights and responsibilities than Larry the Cable Guy.
- Women count for one-half of a dude in giving evidence in a court of law.
- Women should be horse whipped if they ever make their husband feel like a dork.
- Victoria’s Secret Miraculous Bra (with extreme level 5 cleavage) makes God angry.
- Women can’t say squat in regard to whom they’ll marry, what they’ll wear, where they’ll live, or whether or not they can divorce their cheating and/or abusive husband.
- Girls can be wed beginning at the ripe old age of frickin’ nine.
- Women should be cool with hubby having a couple of hoochies or female slaves on the side.
- Women, on the pretext of “honor,” should be locked up, isolated and unable to have a girls’ night out at Mango’s on Ocean Drive.
While radical islamists do believe those things, and are earnest about putting them into practice, to the point of killing people who disagree.
It’s a mystery.
I am not normally given to swearing, but honestly, for f&#%’s sake.
As if you needed another one, reason number 126,475 never to go into an Anglican church again.
According to the article, they met and fell in love at a Christian conference in Togo.
And don’t they look lovely together:
Really, for f&#%’s sake.
The early years of the coming decade will be the last few years of life for many Anglican parishes in the Western world.
Those parishes, some supported by legacies or property income, are home to the last of a generation which would already be gone if it were not for the extraordinary increase in life expectancy for ordinary men and women over the last 100 years.
It is a generation which has failed in its most fundamental calling – the call to pass on the faith to the next generation.
But then, why would a parishioner encourage his children to worship at an Anglican church, or invite her friends?
What inspiration or encouragement has there been in the liberal (in the worst sense of the word) agenda relentlessly imposed for the last forty years?
Or from bishops and other clergy outrightly denying the words of Christ and the teachings and example of the apostles, espousing every popular cause from women priests to gay marriage and global warming, but unable to talk about sin and forgiveness?
Or from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who cannot bring himself to suggest that sharing the Gospel with Muslims might be a good thing, but claims that sharia law is inevitable in Britain because some people ‘do not relate to the English legal system.’
Excuse me? Then why are they there?
But despite everything, the church is capable of taking a stand, and the church bells still ring out to call the faithful to action.
Sorry, what action?
To support the UN talks on bio-diversity. Of course.