If you'd like to republish any of my articles, you are welcome to do so. I'm just asking you to add a link to the original post on my blog, as search engines prefer it.
Showing posts with label Attacks on Christianity in the West. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attacks on Christianity in the West. Show all posts

Monday, 18 November 2013

Slavery, Colonialism and Christianity

Museum of London Docklands: portrait of William Wilberforce, whose Christian faith prompted him to successfully campaign against slavery

My analysis of my reader Tony's attacks on Christianity, after Support for Christianity Should Not Alienate People and How Christian Charity Developed Western Ethics, Hospitals, Schools, continues. On the subject of slavery he writes:
The Bible actually condones slavery Enza. I can send you verse after verse from the Old Testament where God tells his people how to treat slaves, how they should be sold etc. Never once does the OT teach that slavery is wrong. In the New Testament neither Jesus nor Paul call for slavery to be abolished. On the contrary they provide teaching on how to treat slaves. The Bible was used as justification for slavery in the early colonies of America. Furthermore slavery was spread around the world as Christian Western powers built their Empires. One Pope, Nicholas V, actually issued a papal bull in 1452 authorising slavery of captured Muslims.
Here we find again the problem that I briefly mentioned in a previous article: Tony's failure to recognise the break between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Christian part of the Bible is the New Testament.

Although we can talk of a Judaeo-Christian tradition, we cannot talk of a Judaeo-Christian religion. These are two separate and different religions.

St Paul compared the condition of the world (including the Old Testament) before the advent of the religion of Jesus to a child-like, immature state.

Christ said: “The law and the prophets were until John [the Baptist]: from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached” (Luke 16:16).

In addition, just about everything that Tony says about slavery comes to nothing for one simple reason: you cannot discuss a historical subject abstracting it from a historical context.

When we talk about slavery, we may forget that we are looking with modern eyes at an institution that has been part of human history in virtually all cultures.

No culture on the globe has ever questioned the morality of slavery, no culture has ever effectively abolished it. Only in relatively recent times this has been done - and it was Christians who did it.

If Tony, and all of us, reject slavery it is because we were born in the Christian West, regardless of whether we consider ourselves Christian individually or not. Or, as the great Oriana Fallaci, who was among the first to alert the West to the dangers of Islam after 9/11 and who called herself a "Christian atheist", said: "We are all Christian".

Very early the Church baptised slaves and treated them as human beings equal to all others in dignity. They were allowed to marry, be ordained, and some became saints.

St. Isidore of Seville (born about 560 AD) said: "God has made no difference between the soul of the slave and that of the freedman."

His teaching has its roots in St. Paul's First Epistle to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:10), which condemns slave traders and places them among the sinful and lawbreakers, and Epistle to Philemon. In the latter, Paul writes that he is returning fugitive slave Onesimus to his master Philemon, but he urges Philemon to regard Onesimus as a beloved brother.

Historian Rodney Stark writes in The Victory of Reason:
Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. [Emphasis added]
This was during the "Dark Ages".

Later, when the Spanish Conquistadores were enslaving South American Indians and importing African black slaves, their main adversary was the Catholic bishop and missionary Bartolomé de Las Casas, "Protector of the Indians", who devoted 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the abuse of native populations.

His efforts led to a greater focus on the ethics of colonialism and to many improvements in the legal status of indigenous peoples, including a 1542 Spanish law prohibiting the enslavement of Indians. Las Casas is considered as one of the first advocates for universal human rights.

In 1537 Pope Paul III issued the papal bull Sublimus Dei against the enslavement of the indigenous peoples of the continent of America, who were non-Christian. A papal bull is a document of rare importance and significance, formal and profoundly authoritative. Sublimus Dei shows in an exceptionally meaningful way the Christian approach to slavery as early as in the Renaissance:
We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ.
Yes, slavery persisted, and sometimes received ecclesiastical permission. Yes, supporters of slavery before the American Civil War used the Bible as justification for it. But abolitionists could easily point out that slavery was against the whole Christian message of love for your brother and neighbour like for yourself and equality of all men before God.

If we are too attached to and fixated on the letter of the Scriptures, we risk losing the most important part, their spirit, the whole picture, namely the message that Jesus conveyed with all His entire life, His words and His actions.

He was not a slave owner, like Muhammad 600 years after Him.

So, anti-slavery views were present in Christian thought and practice since the 6th century AD.

Modern abolitionism, the anti-slavery movement, started in Britain in 1787 with the foundation of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade. The people behind it were Christians, including William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, who wrote:
We cannot suppose therefore that God has made an order of beings, with such mental qualities and powers, for the sole purpose of being used as beasts, or instruments of labour.
The strong, prolonged opposition to slavery that followed - a unique example in the whole history of mankind - was a formidable effort, with nothing to gain and everything to lose economically by ending this enormously profitable business. Only an exceptional moral force could have achieved it: and that force was the profound Christian conviction of the abolitionist leaders that slavery was wrong.

There were ecclesiastical figures supporting slavery, as there were in every other category of people. But, with rare exceptions, only devout, committed Christians - priests, monks, Christian laymen - opposed slavery. Atheist, secular, non-Christian opposition was unheard of for generations.

If we used the same yardstick employed by anti-Christians, we should say: what have atheists done to condemn or resist slavery when it was difficult to do so, when it was not yet politically correct and orthodox to be abolitionist?

American abolition crusader William Lloyd Garrison declared:
Abolitionism, what is it? Liberty. What is liberty? Abolitionism. What are they both? Politically, one is the Declaration of Independence; religiously, the other is the Golden Rule of our Savior. [Emphasis added]
When Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807 and then slavery in 1834, it had to fight against African tribal leaders who wanted to continue their profitable trade in African slaves. These chieftains were also virulently hostile to Christian missionaries because of their opposition to slavery, and not due to their desire to convert.

The current, politically correct orthodoxy about slavery that Tony espouses demonstrates for the umpteenth time how the enemies of Christianity and the enemies of the West use - not coincidentally - similar, false arguments to attack both, showing once again how the fate of the West is intrinsecally tied to that of Christianity.

Not only were black Africans and Arab Muslims deeply involved in slave trafficking - and in Islam slavery is still practised today -, but whites were also enslaved by Muslims in great  numbers. But, while we never cease to hear about the nasty, racist whites making slaves, we never start hearing about other ethnic and religious groups doing the same, including to whites.

In the same way as Christianity is wrongly and unjustly castigated for slavery - when only Christians abolished it permanently -, so the West is uniquely berated for it. If you hear or read "liberal" thinkers, commentators and all the vast numbers of people that they managed to brainwash, you must be forvigen for thinking that slavery, as well as colonialism, are wicked Western, white, European, Christian inventions. All other populations of the earth are just the innocent victims, and they never harmed a hair on anybody's head.

What has been used to whip white Westerners has been used to whip Christians.

Look at what Westerners and Christians have in common and see if it can be a coincidence: they are both disproportionately attacked for two phenomena - slavery and harmful colonialism - that have existed throughout history and geographical locations, and they are both those who in fact saw the immorality of them and put an end to them.

Rather than going through the long history of how Western colonialism is not what it has been portrayed, of how it was often economically disadvantageous for the European powers involved but on many occasions motivated by the desire to help underdeveloped populations - aim that was often achieved -, I'll point you below to well-researched posts on the subject.

The Islamic world never abolished slavery, and still practises it today.

And remember that it was the European imperial powers which put an end to both the frequent raids and piracy by Muslims that for centuries tormented the Southern European coasts, and to the payment of the extortionate jizya tax demanded from the subjugated Christians living in Muslim lands.

The latter was for those unfortunate brothers and sisters a short-lived respite until multiculturalism, producing Islamophilia on one hand and anti-Christianity on the other, strengthened the Muslim world.

To be continued.

Further reading on slavery, European colonialism and Islam:

Photo by Elliott Brown (Creative Commons CC BY 2.0).

Monday, 25 March 2013

We Are so Used to Assaults on Christianity that We No Longer Even Recognize Them

Muslim Prince Charles

After posting my article Islamic Republic of Great Britain under President Charles Windsor?, I've received comments here and especially on my Facebook Save the West page that show two related phenomena:

1) most people still do not understand that Christianity is the only way the West can remain itself, civilized, Islam-free and ethical

2) the reason the Western general public opinion has not been capable of recognizing or adequately countering the Islamic threat is that it has been so accustomed to the Left's propaganda, an important part of which is its anti-clericalism, anti-Christianity and assault on Christian moral values, that it has lost the ability to see even the biggest elephant in the room; in other words, erosion of and attacks on Christianity have become so normal and commonplace that they are not even noticed and recognized as such, which has led to the spread of the misconception that a religion equals another, and this in turn has made it more difficult to recognize Islam for what it is, even in the face of the most obvious and widespread direct experience through our eyes and ears.

After all, if so many people (including me until not long ago) can believe that Oscar Wilde was an innocent victim of homophobia whereas in fact he was a dirty homosexual paedophile of the worst sort, a wealthy man abusing and exploiting young working class rent-boys for sex, and that, far from being a victim of Victorian prejudice, even today he would be found guilty and be rotting in a prison cell, the high incidence of this belief in itself shows how big the collective disconnect with reality has become in the Western mind.

People have been subjected to such a brainwashing of Orwellian proportions and diabolicalness that of course, when Islam was ready and coming here to invade and submit, it found the gates of the West wide open. Nobody, or very few, were capable of seeing the obvious any more.

Now, going back to the comments to my post. I do not blame anybody, as I said it is extremely easy to be deceived by 40-50 years of uninterrupted, continuous, profound leftist indoctrination.

The comments are mainly of two types: a) they minimize the impact that even a Muslim or Islam-sympathizer Prince Charles could have, either because his reign will be short-lived or he will not have any say in how the country is run or because at least he is honest, and b) they defend the atheists' presumed entitlement to "get a say in who is to sit on the throne".

The very fact that Britain could have an Islamophile monarch is per se a sign of the enormous influence that this pseudo-religion has already attained, let alone if that dreadful scenario becomes reality.

This case also makes it even more evident than it has already been how Islam is incompatible with and a direct threat to Christianity, when you have a monarch who is supposed to have the official titles of both the "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England and the "Defensor Fidei", defensor of "the" faith - as there is only one faith that can be recognized as the foundation of any Western society, and that is Christianity - who has Islamic propensions and does not really want to defend the special role of the Christian faith.

The question about "atheist rights", which we hear more and more of, increasingly reminds me of the often-trumpeted "Muslim rights".

In advanced, Western democracies, both individuals and minorities should be protected, hence the classical theory of human rights, not to be confused with the current, leftist theory of human rights, which is something completely different, indeed opposite, and only underpins the spread and power of the state and of the welfare system, bringing Western countries to economic ruin.

The classical theory of human rights derives from the Christian doctrine of natural rights. And incidentally, this is only one of the many things that Christianity has "done for us". The problem is the widespread lack of historical knowledge of how almost everything that distinguishes the West, with its incredible civilization, from the rest is indissolubly and inherently linked to Christianity.

In the West I also include Christian populations the world over.

But the decision in a democracy is clearly taken by the majority, and most people in Britain want a Christian monarch with a Christian role: "73% said she should continue as supreme governor of the Church of England and keep the Defender of the Faith title ".

The problem is that, if we lose or dilute our Christian roots, we become nothing, the West cannot even be defined without them.

Europe geographically is just an appendix of the Eurasian continent. What distinguishes Europe is its culture, and its culture has two roots: the classical world of ancient Rome and Greece and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Without them Europe, and by extension the West, would have just remained as civilized as the Third World is now.

The West would not have existed without Christianity and will not survive without it.

One of the reasons why Islam has made so many inroads into Western society so easily is because the people in the West do not believe in anything any more, and therefore think that there is nothing to defend, nothing worth protecting.

People who attack Christian values, which are what the West is built on and without which the West does not exist (think of the current difficulties in trying to define “Britishness” in the UK and “Europe” in the EU, difficulties that derive from the attempt to exclude Christianity from these definitions), open the door to Islamization, whether they realize it or not.

As for atheists, it is possible to be atheist and Christian, as Oriana Fallaci declared herself to be and I was until I realized that atheism is impossible to support rationally and scientifically (the alternative to the existence of God, that everything happened by chance, having such a low probability as to be mathematically impossible); so now I am agnostic and Christian. You can believe in Christian ethics and values and recognize that we owe all our civilization, including science, to Christianity, while having doubts about or without believing in God.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Islamic Republic of Great Britain under President Charles Windsor?

Queen Elizabeth II

The UK's Queen Elizabeth II has unfortunately been ill with gastroenteritis recently.

Understandably this has started speculations, I hope premature, about what could happen in case of her death.

I like her, and I wish her a very long life.

Who will succeed the Queen is a very worrisome question. I dread to think of her son and heir to the throne Prince Charles as the King, not only because of his, shall we say, lack of grasp of reality (Oriana Fallaci, the Italian best-selling author who, with her book The Rage and the Pride (Amazon USA) , (Amazon UK) , was post 9/11 among the first to alert the West to the dangers of Islam, called him "babbeo", a Tuscan term which could be reserved for the village idiot), but even more importantly because he has repeatedly made it obvious that he is not a Christian faithful, and that he keeps an "open mind" on different religious faiths.

How can that be reconciled to his future status, if he becomes king, as the "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England?

If he is consistent he should refuse to be the next monarch.

To obviate this problem he famously said, as found on his official website: "I personally would rather see it [his future role] as Defender of Faith, not the Faith", meaning all faiths and not just Christianity.

But the vast majority of British people fortunately do not want that:
Almost 80% of people in England agree the Queen still has an important faith role, a BBC poll suggests.

In a poll by Comres to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 79% of respondents said the monarch's religious role remained relevant.

Meanwhile, 73% said she should continue as supreme governor of the Church of England and keep the Defender of the Faith title first given to Henry VIII.
Charles' own website shows that his connections to Islam are very strong:
The Prince has given many speeches on the need for greater understanding between different religions. In March 2006, His Royal Highness addressed over 800 Islamic scholars at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and called for greater dialogue between the three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The Prince was awarded an honorary doctorate from the university for his work to encourage inter-faith dialogue and was the first Western man to receive this honour.

During the same overseas tour with The Duchess of Cornwall, His Royal Highness repeated his call at Saudi Arabia’s most senior Islamic University, the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Riyadh, the first Christian to speak there.

His Royal Highness also set up The Prince’s School for Traditional Arts in Shoreditch, London, to bring a wider appreciation of the arts and craft skills which have deep roots in all the major faith traditions.

The school teaches Islamic architecture, icon painting, Islimi and Arabesque craft, and stained glass skills to pupils of all religions and backgrounds. The school has developed outreach and education programmes for young people and is also working with a number of governments in Arab and Asian countries to build links with institutions.
And it doesn't end there. The Boston Globe wrote in November 2005 (via Jihad Watch):
The Prince of Wales was at the White House last week, hoping, the Daily Telegraph reported, ''to convince President Bush of the merits of Islam . . . because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since Sept. 11, 2001." This is a drum Prince Charles has been beating for years. In 1993, for example, he scolded those in the West who peddled ''unthinking prejudices" about Muslim culture -- for example, ''that sharia law of the Islamic world is cruel, barbaric, and unjust." Two months after 9/11, he was lambasting the American attitude toward Islam as ''too confrontational."
Islam scholar and political activist Robert Spencer also has this in Jihad Watch:
Bonnie Prince Charlie: East has what the West lacks.

The East, that is, Islam, or at least Sufi mysticism. Attending a whirling dervish ceremony in Turkey, Charles waxed enthusiastic:
When they had finished the Prince gave a speech on Rumi’s appeal in the 21st century. “Whatever it is, it seems to me that Western life has become deconstructed and partial.” The East, on the other hand, had given us “parables of the soul”.
Islam scholar Daniel Pipes offers a long catalogue of reasons that make him wonder whether Prince Charles is a convert to Islam.

I can't imagine many things worse for a future (or present, for that matter) British monarch to utter than what Prince Charles said to an audience of scholars for the 25th anniversary of the University of Oxford's Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, "which attempts to encourage a better understanding of the culture and civilisation [sic] of the religion", organization of which he is patron: "Follow the Islamic way to save the world".

If you look at the photos of students accompanying the article and, even more, if you read the comments to it, you'll notice that that speech didn't go down very well.

Some little pearls representative of the many more disparaging comments: "Must be the medication he's on for his chest Infection.", "And this guy will be your future king,be afraid very afraid.", "'Follow the Islamic way to save the world,' Does that include honour killings and stonings and public executions for gays Charlie?", "When Charles is crowned King, he will have to swear to be the Defender of the Faith - and that is the Christian faith, not Islam.", "to come out with this is utter insanity", "Just shows you how out to lunch he is!!!", "Go back and talk to the trees!", "It really amazes me that the citizens of this country put up with the thought of this man being the next King of England.", "Now tell me he's not crazy!", "Who are the fools who think he is worth a penny of the taxpayer's money?", "I also find it disturbing that you, as Head of the Church in a Christian country, would single out another religion in the way that you have. Really Sir - your comments are 'unhelpful' at best.", "'we cannot exist on our own without the intricately balanced web of life around us. Islam has always taught this and to ignore that lesson is to default on our contract with creation.' Yes Charles but then can you explain why it is then that some followers of Islam spend most of their time trying to obliterate some of this finely balanced web? Get a grip Sir, you are paid for out of British Taxpayers Money and you represent people such as those killed and maimed in the July bombings. If you feel such a fan of Islam then why not go visit the relatives of those people and try explaining to them the fine balance that you talk about.", "I cannot believe that a future king and defender of the faith, christainity , church of england , could come out with such garbage. I sincerly hope he does NOT become our king.", "Prince Charles a 'practising Christian' ???!!! Says who?", "I pray that this man will NEVER sit on the throne of the United Kingdom!", "And this from the man who may become the head of the Church of England? God help us all.", "If he wasn't so stupid he'd be a joke.", "Who would not be a Republican after reading this?", "He shames our country.", "Could the potential head of a country possibly be more out of touch with his people?", "Where does he get the idea that Islamic spiritual principles protect the environment? We have just returned from a holiday in Egypt (Cairo and Alexandria) the atmospheric pollution and discarded refuse was unbelievable.", "I think that Islam needs to follow the world actually..With people like this bloke at the helm I grieve for this Christian Nation.", "Thank God there's a chance the succession to the throne will skip a generation.", "How differently things might have turned out if this practising Christian had remembered the commandment - Thou shalt not commit adultery. Christian values made Britain great. It is very sad how those values have been eroded over the years.", "We are the plebs who keep him and his mistress in the luxury they're acustomed to!! Time to say NO - think of the damage he's going to do, IF he ever becomes King.", "The prince apparently lives in some kind of parallel universe. As King, he will be "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England, and here is on spouting on and on about Islamic values! Championing an Islamist cause is a strange role indeed for this man, but perhaps not surprising considering how weird and unsuccessful his life has been to date. He needs a reality check imho.", "He is an outright embarrassment. Why doesn't he just go ahead and convert to Islam already instead of being the royal Dhimmi that he is".

And this comment from an Aussie nicely sums up my own feelings: "I do hope the Queen sticks around for another 30 or so years", or more.

I wonder, if there was a public vote, say a referendum on his accession to the throne, whether Prince Charles would be the choice of the people. I very much doubt it.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

O'Neill Got It Wrong: Gay Activists Want More than Liberation, not Less

LGBT Rainbow flag flying from a building in Brighton

Brendan O'Neill totally missed the point.

He compares the gay radicals of the past who did not want marriage because they saw it as a form of oppression to the LGBT movement of today who demand same-sex wedlock, and concludes that the latter have become bourgeois and integrated, renouncing the radical ideology of the beginning, when Stonewall was young and fighting for liberation from matrimony, not enslavement by it.

The point he misses is that the homosexual activists have become more radical, not less.

What they demand from society now is a total redefinition of marriage, something that goes to the core of this institution and pierces it through the heart. They want to shape society in their own image, not just more or less politely ask society to leave them alone.

What was a negative request, "Do not interfere with our personal lives", has become a much stronger, positive demand, "Change the meaning of marriage to fit our bill".

This can be seen especially clearly when you consider the LGBT movement's request for same-sex marriage in church, when it is obvious that the people who intend to take advantage of this "right" do not believe in the precepts of the Churches whom they would require to celebrate their wedding.

It is transparent that church gay marriage is a travesty of Christian marriage, as I have written elsewhere:
We must not forget that, for believers, marriage is a sacrament; and for non-believers, what's the point of wanting to marry in church other than mocking the Church?

There was a male gay couple interviewed on the [British] TV. One of the two, in late middle age, with all the seriousness in the world said: "I want to marry in a church because this is the way I was brought up". One should ask: were you also brought up to have a homosexual relationship? And, if you can accept to depart from your background and education in one aspect, what's wrong with doing the same for the other aspect as well?

If as a gay couple you got married in church, it would not mean anything, because the creed and doctrine behind the sacrament of marriage does not include unions of this kind. It would be an empty ritual, a gesture without significance behind it.

It would confuse form with substance, appearance with reality. It would be a travesty.

It would be like thinking that a man wearing a wig and fake breasts is a woman. He may look like a woman, but he is not; similarly, a church gay marriage may look like a Christian marriage, but it is not.

Homosexual wedding in church is an insult to the people who believe, it's like an enormous joke at the expenses of Christian clergy and faithful alike. Why does a homosexual really want to marry in church knowing that, given the Christian teachings on homosexuality, that "marriage" is meaningless, if not to give Christianity the finger?

Why should gay activists want to make a mockery of other people's genuine Christian beliefs? And why should the British government want to give in to this offensive request, as it has already done to all other gay requests without exception [bar abolishing the minimum age of consent]?

Monday, 10 December 2012

X-Factor Star, Committed Christian Jahmene, Wants to Raise Standards in Music

Jahmene Douglas, X Factor 2012 runner-up

The very talented and exceptionally moving singer Jahmene Douglas, who was the runner-up in The X Factor pop music contest last night and whom producer Simon Cowell said he is planning to give a recording contract, is a really good role model and some-one to watch for.

In an interview with The Daily Mail 3 days ago, Jahmene said that he used to pray to give himself strength through the torment of living with his abusive dad Eustace.

The 22-year-old from Swindon recalled about his father: "He didn’t want us to go to church. He stopped us from going to Sunday school".
‘But when you do go to the bottom of the bottom, you realise everything that is important. I’m not here for money and fame and all that stuff. I have my own priorities and try to keep myself grounded in what my mission is.’

Which is? ‘A lot of singers have forgotten they have a responsibility through influencing people - mainly the younger generation. So all these foul songs - they don’t realise how badly they’re poisoning children’s minds. I’m trying to bring back the class of the olden days and hopefully set some standards.

In Ella’s last week, Jahmene, who doesn’t drink, refused to join the other contestants in performing Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night. He says: ‘The lyrics weren’t just about alcohol, they mentioned threesomes.

‘The first line was: “There’s a stranger in my bed.” I was thinking about Ella, who’s only 16, and how it would be for her to sing lyrics that open this whole world of ménage à trois, getting naked and drinking.

‘The contestants were 100 per cent behind me. So the production team changed the song. A song has to be something I feel deeply about. I’ve turned down a lot of songs because of the message.’

Jahmene is truly made of steel, despite appearing painfully nervous most of the time.

...‘Winning can mean a lot of things. There’s winning the competition, then there’s making an album and being successful - that’s the winning for me. If I’d left two weeks ago but made an album that was successful and made a difference, I would have won.

...‘When all hope was gone, I used to get on my knees and pray for the strength to change things. I think the fact I’m here now proves my prayers have been answered. The X Factor is a massive platform to help change things for someone else.’
Jahmene is a committed Christian and had no problem, in these days when being Christian is seen as politically incorrect and not "cool", in professing his views on The X Factor program. For example, when he was asked what album he would like to make he replied a Gospel music album. When he was asked what kind of music he would have liked as one of the one-week themes for the show, he answered "‘Team Jesus’ Gospel".

He then introduced The X Factor to his local church's Gospel choir, with which he regularly sings, and to his pastor.

This is the first time in a very long time that I see Christianity and the most popular music associated in such a public, high-profile way.

"For every action there is a reaction" is not just Newton's third law of motion in classical physics, but on many occasions in history it has seemed to govern human behaviour too.

The 18th-century Enlightenment with its focus on reason was followed by 19-century Romanticism with its attention to emotions; the rise of communism in early 20th-century Italy was followed by the fascist regime trying to put a stop to socialists and communists taking power, and the defeat of fascism was followed by a resurrection in communist influence.

Early, pre-Socratic Greek philosophy saw a series of philosophers radically contradicting the principal ideas of the philosophers preceding them.

Maybe in the coming years, after many decades of erosion of Christianity and attacks on Christian values from numerous fronts in the West, we will be witnessing a reaction in the form of young people like brave, strong Jahmene, who will show rejection of this trend and will express that they do not want Christianity to be put aside in a corner to die in our societies and say that they want to bring Christian principles back into the public sphere.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Church Gay Marriage Is a Travesty of Christian Marriage

LGBT Rainbow flag flying from a building in Brighton

Today, during a conversation I was just about to use the word "family", when I realized that I don't know what "family" means anymore.

This is a semantic, and therefore logic, problem.

In logic, the 19th-20th century German philosopher Gottlob Frege distinguished between the two characteristics, the two dimensions of a concept: its meaning or significance and its sense.

The meaning or denotation is the class of objects to which the concept refers, which is comprised by it. You could see it as its extension.

The sense or connotation are the concept's descriptive qualities, the information it conveys.

If you say "cat", the meaning of the concept is all cats; its sense is a domestic, feline, carnivorous creature who hunts, purrs, has whiskers and ears of a certain shape etc. The concept expresses both.

There is an inverse proportion between the two: the larger the meaning the narrower the sense and vice versa.

A concept like "universe", just because it has a vast meaning of an all-including class of objects, has practically no sense, in that it has very little descriptive, or delimitative, power.

Defining a word means exactly that, giving it borders that restrict it.

If you say "everything", the meaning is infinite and therefore the sense is tiny. If you ask someone what he did today, and he answers "everything", he conveys little or no information.

So, about "family".

In this case, the reason why we don't know what it means any more is obvious. A couple of homosexuals, married or not, with or without children, is now considered a family. Even 3 people of either or any sex who had a ménage à trois and lived together would be considered a family. An unmarried (heterosexual, because we have to specify these days) couple each of whose members was married to someone else with whom they had children (living with either parent) is considered a family. The list is endless.

And again, by extending the meaning of "marriage" to the point of making it burst, we have enormously shrunk its sense, which has become very vague now. Hence, I could not use the word today when I needed it.

Many things have caused this unwelcome development. I want to focus here on the homosexuals' ever extending demands for their "rights".

It's OK for them to do what they want, as for everybody else, as long as it does not harm others.

Here we have got to the point when the gays' demands are harming others.

First, the direct victims are the children, either adopted or born through some artificial or concocted means (IVF or sex of one of the couple with a third person), that a homosexual couple can now legally call their own.

Freud was probably the first to say that a mother and a father have, among other things, the crucial task of being a model through example, showing their children what the different sexual roles are. Many things that Freud thought were wrong, but this is still considered true, this is what most psychologists think today.

Nobody denies - yet - that there are two sexes, and that they have important differences.

The children of these homosexual couples, having two mothers and no father or two fathers and no mother, will very likely grow up confused about sexual roles and differences, and this is not going to bring happiness and psychological balance but the opposite. They will probably become homosexuals in a disproportionate number of cases, compared to the others.

When in the next few years or decades the consequences on these children will become apparent (and in particular when it will be clear that they are not happy people), that may signal the start of a backlash against all this giving homosexuals whatever they ask for.

The other victim is indirect, and is society. It's all of us. The family is a vital part and foundation of society, and diluting its sense and value - obviously not just through "gay marriage" and all that, but also through many other unsavoury developments among heterosexuals - has already produced terrible outcomes (the underclass, with rise in: crime, welfare dependency, teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and others) and is going to continue doing so.

Homosexuals are not discriminated against any more. Like blacks, they are not victims anymore.

Wake up. The people discriminated against have changed, the oppressors have become oppressed.

Now, when there is a civil dispute between gay activists and people who have different views, the former will always trump the latter, as Peter and Hazelmary Bull, the Christian husband and wife owners of a B&B in Cornwall who were successfully sued by a male homosexual couple for offering them two rooms rather than one, experienced first hand.

The excuse most commonly given for this perversion of the law is to say: the B&B is a public business. There's a lot to answer to that. First of all, the couple did not send the homosexuals away, they just offered them two separate rooms. No law can oblige a hotel or B&B to offer one particular room instead of another; even reserved rooms can sometimes be replaced by others.

Second, pub landlords are entitled to throw out or refuse entry to whomever they like, they don't even need to justify that with motives. It's often said that the reason for this is because they have to maintain order in the pub, but in reality they have the power to use that right at their discretion, they may simply throw out whomever they dislike. So, why should people who run a hospitality business not have the same right? Night clubs refuse admission to people for simply wearing the wrong clothes and nobody talks about human rights violations, which would be ridiculous.

Third, I think that the law of contract should enable everybody to freely enter the contract or not. A business, public or not, should have the right to refuse to serve whomever they like. In fact, they do. Banks, for instance, may refuse to open an account without any valid reason.

I believe that the "public business" motivation is just an excuse, and the real reason is just that the gay agenda must take precedence over everything else.

If anybody has any doubt, just look at the new law about to be introduced in the UK that allows gay marriages to be celebrated in church, which Prime Minister David Cameron has yesterday backed.

Gays say that they just want to be like everybody else, but the fact is that they are not like everybody else. If you, either by choice or not (I don't think that anybody knows really) live a homosexual life, go the full length, accept your diversity and live according to it.

What's the sense of living as a gay but at the same time imitating heterosexuals and doing things which are definitely not gay, are the essence of not being gay, like having children?

In the case of the church gay marriage law, the Church of England rightly protested that clergy should not be forced to perform ceremonies that go against their beliefs and doctrines. The government's reply that they will not be forced was ridiculous, because, as the Church answered, they will be forced not by the law itself, not by democratically elected representatives of the people, but by unelected, unaccountable, undemocratic judges of European or international courts in the hands of whom the certain legal actions initiated by homosexuals will eventually end.

We must not forget that, for believers, marriage is a sacrament; and for non-believers, what's the point of wanting to marry in church other than mocking the Church?

There was a male gay couple interviewed on the TV. One of the two, in late middle age, with all the seriousness in the world said: "I want to marry in a church because this is the way I was brought up". One should ask: were you also brought up to have a homosexual relationship? And, if you can accept to depart from your background and education in one aspect, what's wrong with doing the same for the other aspect as well?

If as a gay couple you got married in church, it would not mean anything, because the creed and doctrine behind the sacrament of marriage does not include unions of this kind. It would be an empty ritual, a gesture without significance behind it.

It would confuse form with substance, appearance with reality. It would be a travesty.

It would be like thinking that a man wearing a wig and fake breasts is a woman. He may look like a woman, but he is not; similarly, a church gay marriage may look like a Christian marriage, but it is not.

Homosexual wedding in church is an insult to the people who believe, it's like an enormous joke at the expenses of Christian clergy and faithful alike. Why does a homosexual really want to marry in church knowing that, given the Christian teachings on homosexuality, that "marriage" is meaningless, if not to give Christianity the finger?

Why should gay activists want to make a mockery of other people's genuine Christian beliefs? And why should the British government want to give in to this offensive request, as it has already done to all other gay requests without exception?

Actually no, there is an exception, at least until now: the demand to lower or even abolish the minimum age of consent to sexual intercourse for homosexuals. This demand comes from associations like the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) founded in 1978 before the pederasty issue became vastly exposed, and is an activist homosexual and paedophilia coalition group whose primary stated aim is to overturn US statutory rape laws.

In short, it asks for pederasty to be made legal. Among NAMBLA advocates are well-known homosexual activist figures, like David Thorstad and the leader of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights movement Harry Hay, and was part of the American gay rights movement for a long time, participating in marches and gay pride parades. It is not just an American phenomenon, though. Our own Peter Thatchell, Britain's leading gay activist, also supports underage sex.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Prohibition to Use the Word "Christmas" Is Unconstitutional

Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, London

With the Christmas Festivities approaching, we'll see many more cases of this nonsense, and not just in the US but all over Western countries.

College Wants Club to Change 'Christmas' to 'Holiday' for Tree Sale Fundraiser:
School officials at a community college in western North Carolina replaced the word "Christmas" with "holiday" in a student club's announcement of a Christmas tree sale aimed at raising funds for charity, says a religious freedom law group. "We cannot market your trees in association solely with a Christian event," a college official told the club, according to Alliance Defending Freedom.

Lawyers from ADF responded by sending a letter to Western Piedmont Community College pointing out that it had violated the constitutional rights of the club.

"It's ridiculous that anyone would have to think twice about using the word 'Christmas' as part of a Christmas tree sale," said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. "Not only is it perfectly constitutional to use the word 'Christmas,' it is unconstitutional to prohibit use of it. This is another perfect example of the immense misunderstanding that far too many college officials have about what the First Amendment truly requires."

The student-led BEST Society is sponsoring the sale, which ends on Dec. 6. The club completed the necessary paperwork to have the event announced through numerous means on campus. The text they requested, "The BEST Society will be selling Christmas Trees," appeared correctly initially in late October, but after a few days, the text was changed to "The BEST Society will be selling Holiday Trees," according to ADF.

"As a result of this forced changed to their advertisements," the ADF letter explains, "the BEST Society has received complaints from community members, several of whom have indicated that they will not purchase trees from the group because of the change in wording. This has resulted in direct harm to the club's fundraising activity, the proceeds of which are being used to support Angel Tree, an organization that provides Christmas gifts to children."

The letter goes on to say that "the censorship of the BEST Society's message, and the requirement that its advertisements use the phrase 'holiday tree' rather than Christmas tree, is a violation of the constitutional rights of the club members."

ADF is asking that the college, located in Morgantown, return the club's original wording to the announcements wherever they appear so that no legal action will be necessary.

Incidents such as the college's removal of "Christmas" have been tagged over the last several years as part of the "war on Christmas," a type of cultural debate in the U.S. where displays of the Christian holiday in the public square have been met with disapproval by primarily atheist groups. Although the activists often cite a "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution as a defense for their reasoning, many legal experts say that their interpretation is a misnomer. The clause was meant to prevent government enforcement of a particular religion and not meant to exclude public expressions of faith.

Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

UK: Man Demoted for His Christian Views Wins under £100 in Compensation Case

A country where you can demote an employee because he does not share your views and get away with it - Mr Smith remains in his demoted position - is getting dangerously close to a totalitarian state where there is control over what people may or may not think.

We can jokingly call it "political correctness" but it is deadly serious.

My definition of political correctness is this: the orthodoxy, namely the ideology that is dominant in both senses of the term - dominant because most widespread, and dominant because it is imposed with non-democratic means, through the use of force.

What I find most ironic is that the people who hold politically correct views and force everyone else to embrace them are the very same people who are horrified at the Counter-Reformation times' Catholic Church's use of dogma and heresy as a way of controlling ideas and hence people.

The only difference between the methods used by the masters of PC and the Inquisition is that in the intervening centuries the penal system of punishment has changed and instead of torture and burning at stake we have destructions of heretics' careers and livelihoods.
A Christian who was demoted for posting his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook will receive less than £100 compensation after winning his legal action for breach of contract.

Adrian Smith, 55, lost his managerial position, had his salary cut by 40% and was given a final written warning by Trafford Housing Trust (THT) after posting that gay weddings in churches were "an equality too far".

The comments were not visible to the general public, and were posted outside work time, but the trust said he broke its code of conduct by expressing religious or political views which might upset co-workers
To be allowed to upset or offend is the essence of freedom of speech: there is no call for restriction on expression that does not offend anyone.
Mr Justice Briggs, in London's High Court, said the trust did not have a right to demote Mr Smith as his Facebook postings did not amount to misconduct. He added that the postings were not - viewed objectively - judgmental, disrespectful or liable to cause upset or offence, and were expressed in moderate language.

As for their content, they were widely held views frequently to be heard on radio and television, or read in the newspapers. He said he had "real disquiet" about the financial outcome for Mr Smith, whose compensation was limited to the small difference between his contractual salary and the amount actually paid to him during the 12 weeks following his assumption of his new, but reduced, role.

If Mr Smith had begun proceedings for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, rather than for breach of contract in the county court, there was every reason to suppose he would have been awarded a substantial sum - but Mr Smith had said that by the time he had raised the necessary funds, the time limit for such proceedings had expired.

The judge said: "Mr Smith was taken to task for doing nothing wrong, suspended and subjected to a disciplinary procedure which wrongly found him guilty of gross misconduct, and then demoted to a non-managerial post with an eventual 40% reduction in salary. The breach of contract which the trust thereby committed was serious and repudiatory. A conclusion that his damages are limited to less than £100 leaves the uncomfortable feeling that justice has not been done to him in the circumstances."

Later, Mr Smith said: "I'm pleased to have won my case for breach of contract today. The judge exonerated me and made clear that my comments about marriage were in no way 'misconduct'. My award of damages has been limited to less than £100. But I didn't do this for the money - I did this because there is an important principle at stake."

Matthew Gardiner, chief executive at Trafford Housing Trust said: "We fully accept the court's decision and I have made a full and sincere apology to Adrian. At the time we believed we were taking the appropriate action following discussions with our employment solicitors and taking into account his previous disciplinary record.

"We have always vigorously denied allegations that the trust had breached an employee's rights to freedom of religious expression under human rights and equalities legislation and, in a written judgment handed down on 21st March 2012, a district judge agreed that these matters should be struck out. This case has highlighted the challenges that businesses face with the increased use of social media and we have reviewed our documentation and procedures to avoid a similar situation arising in the future. Adrian remains employed by the trust and I am pleased this matter has now concluded."

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Obama Endorses "Gay" Anti-Christian Bigot

The video shows Dan Savage, a homosexual activist who created It Gets Better Project to help homosexual teens survive bullying during their teenage years.

It sounds good and nice, until you realize that Savage is himself full of the hatred he accuses others of nurturing.

He utters anti-Christian bigotry every time he opens his mouth. He praises violence against people who disagree with him.

He tells kids to f..k their teachers, preachers, parents.

All this is vile but maybe, with all the important events going on, not worth getting out of our way to draw attention to, since he will be one of the many homosexualist militants who do similar things.

But this bigoted, hateful, inciting to violence individual is endorsed by Barack Hussein Obama, Vice President Biden, and White House staff on the White House's own website, with links to Savage's website.

The anti-bully is a bully himself. Yet another, the umpteenth reason to vote for Romney against the bully-in-chief Obama on November 6th election day.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Christmas for Islam is a Crime Worse than Murder

Are you already thinking and dreaming of Christmas?

Enjoy it now because it may not last long.

Watch this beautiful video (the first part is not, but it is educational).

Note: "shirk" is an Arabic term that in Islam means the sin of idolatry or polytheism, the deification or worship of anyone or anything other than Allah.

Shirk is an unforgivable crime when unpardoned before death; Allah may forgive any sin unpardoned before death except shirk.

This is why the Muslim preacher in the video calls Christmas a worse crime than fornication, drinking alcohol and even killing someone.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Islam in the UK

This is the view from Londonistan, Absurd Britannia, Eurabia.

Raymond Ibrahim, a scholar of Arab and Islam history born in the USA of Egyptian Coptic parents, often writes about the condition of Christians in Muslim-majority countries, where they are subjugated and oppressed, even when they are a sizeable minority in places like Egypt, Syria and, before the “ethnic cleansing”, Iraq.

This is the complementary view, the one from historically Christian Western Europe, where Muslims are still (although not for long) a small minority, smaller than the Christians in the aforementioned countries. Even in these entirely different situations Muslims, aided by the Left and coward governments, are still acting like masters, thinking that everything is due to them and trying to impose their ideology on everybody else.

I came to live in London from Italy in 1984, and the changes I witnessed since are earth-shattering.

When I first arrived here, the word “halal” was unknown to everybody except the people involved in animal welfare, who knew that the Islamic method of slaughter was bad news indeed for the animals. Now you only have to take a 30-minute drive around London (any part) and you’ll see dozens of Halal signs in shops and restaurants. In the area where I live in West London, which is by no means a Muslim ghetto because many non-Muslim whites and blacks reside here, in the street you see women whose attire would make the strictest Taliban happy; or at least you think they are women, since all you can see is a walking robe with no eyes.

The following are some among the myriad examples of Muslim intolerance and lack of integration, stealth jihad and creeping sharia in the United Kingdom.

A few years ago a Muslim policeman refused to wear his uniform due to the presence of a cross on it.

The typical phenomenon of Muslim men grooming white young girls, for years denounced only by right-wing groups who as a result were accused of racism and Islamophobia, turned out to be real and now the mainstream media have started covering it.

There have been instances of Muslim girls rejecting their school uniform and demanding to wear Muslim clothing, sometimes even suing the school using the European Convention on Human Rights and winning the case.

Muslim bus and taxi drivers have not allowed on their vehicle blind people with their “unclean” guide dogs and Muslim passengers have objected to them.

British legislation, bending over backwards to accommodate Sharia, has permitted conflicts and contradictions with long-established jurisprudence. Polygamy, despite being forbidden by British law, is now de facto part of it due to a change in the inheritance law which now lets multiple wives inherit from their husband.

Similarly, a loophole created by the previous Labour government allows Muslims to take a property mortgage without paying interest, which also makes it cheaper for them and has now been exploited by non-Muslims who discovered it, causing a minor uproar.

In the UK the police are afraid of Muslims. There have been cases caught on video of Muslim demonstrators pelting with sticks and traffic cones and taunting with shouts of "kuffar" (Islamic  epithet for infidels) the police, who retreated in front of them.

And then there is the classical problem of halal meat, which is being served in British schools, hospitals and other institutions to both followers and non followers of Islam, and brought to international attention when Sarkozy declared his intention to change this situation in France, which is in the same predicament as the UK but a bit less dhimmi. In addition, meat of animals slaughtered with the halal method but still discarded for Muslim consumption because considered “haram” (forbidden) in some other way is being sold to unaware non-Muslims. To their credit British ministers, though, following Sarkozy’s example, have said that they will soon change the law.

Practically, according to a familiar pattern of progression, Muslim populations in countries where they are a tiny minority or in a weak position act differently from their counterparts in countries where they are stronger or more numerous. Therefore Europe, with its policy of appeasement and its Muslim communities’ exponential growth, can expect in a few decades’ time to see the imposition of Sharia law and other effects of Islamic supremacy, unless something (hopefully, Europeans waking up from their sleep) intervenes to alter the current demographic, social and political trend.

Western Europe’s general readiness, in recent years, to discard Christianity may reveal itself a very dangerous experiment indeed for many different reasons, one of which is the fact of depriving itself of a solid bulwark against Islam, stronger than atheism, secularism or liberalism both in the American and traditional European sense.

It is no coincidence that perhaps the country that most has conceded to Muslims and most has renounced for the sake of Islam, the United Kingdom, possibly the only country in the free world where the media, with the exception of a Welsh student rag and a Welsh-language church newspaper, did not reprint the notorious Mohammed cartoons for fear of offending Muslim sensitivities, is also the country which is proudest of its secularism, the only country I know of where before his visit the Pope was threatened with arrest by various fanatical atheists, homosexual activists and assorted militant hotheads.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Germany: Whole New Neighbourhoods without Churches

In Germany, architecture is being "de-Christianized". Entire new neighbourhoods and urban areas are being built without a church in them: churches are just not planned in the projects, as if nobody even thought of them.

The German Catholic news site Kreuz reports on this phenomenon with examples from an article by architecture critic Dankwart Guratzsch in the daily Die Welt.

In Stuttgart, a large new district was built for 12,000 residents without a church.

In Hamburg, another new neighbourhood for 12,000 residents was created without a church. Not only that: to realize this project, 19 churches were closed down, probably because they were in the way. Made disappear in the blink of an eye. Under the pretext that nobody had requested them.

Some people, however, did protest, and to make them happy they were provided with a small chapel with just thirty chairs, hidden on the ground floor of a battered-facade office building.

This does not look like an accident, but a plan to make the signs of Christian faith disappear in a cold, calculated, cruel way.

Writing in Die Welt, Guratzsch quotes the son of the great philosopher Hegel, Immanuel Hegel, who advised: "Build churches!". Because, adds Guratzsch: "To build churches means to build communities. When the faithful are deprived of the visible testimony of public recognition of their values, the latter are also weakened for the believers themselves".

Guratzsch recalls how the same was happening during the time of the German Democratic Republic, communist Germany: churches were being demolished to humiliate, offend, isolate religion and inculcate atheism.

A Europe without churches and without strong Christian roots and values will be much more vulnerable to a threat similar to communism: Islamization.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Pussy Riot Are Not Supported by Ordinary Russians

These Pussy Riot women are definitely not political martyrs. The very fact that at first, advised by their lawyers, they even denied having been in the church during the concert shows that: if they were prepared to retract, what courageous political message can that be? In the UK The Times even took that denial seriously.

What will its position after thier admission, wonders in a post's comments Alexander Mercouris, who then adds and clarifies the legal case:
Also by admitting that an offence was committed the girls have confirmed that they are not adopting the defence adopted for them by Amnesty International and their western admirers that they were entitled to do what they did as an exercise of their right of free speech under Article 10(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights. Please note: any such defence of the girls you now read in the western media or on the part of assorted worthies such as Amnesty International, Sting, Madonna, Red Hot Chilli Peppers etc, is not being made by the girls themselves in their defence and never has been. They could not previously make this defence because up to now they were not admitting that they were present in the Cathedral so they could not claim a defence of free speech for actions they were not admitting they ever made. Now that they admit that they were present in the Cathedral the girls are also admitting that what they did was an offence albeit only an administrative offence. This is an admission that they were not entitled to do what they did so the defence that they were entitled to do what they did as an exercise of their right of free speech under Article 10(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights does not apply.

The only defence the girls are now making is the defence of proportionality, that the penalty prescribed under the charge of hooliganism is disproportionate to the offence committed. This is a valid defence and one to which Article 10(2) of the European Convention of Human Rights applies.

Where the defence is one of proportionality this creates the classic situation, as I have argued previously, for a plea bargain in which an admission of guilt and an apology is traded for a lower sentence. If the girls had made their admission and offered a sincere apology right at the start of this case we would have been spared all the nonsense of the last few months. The trial would by now long since be over, a lenient sentence could have been agreed and the girls would almost certainly by now be free.

There is no reason why the Court would not have agreed to impose a lenient sentence as part of a plea bargain. There are (or were) ample grounds for mitigation given that the girls are (1) young and inexperienced and therefore could argue that they did not fully understand the upset what they did would cause (2) have no previous history of serious criminal convictions (3) did not cause material damage (4) did not act for material gain (5) can validly argue that they did what they did because they were incensed by the Patriarch’s support for Putin in the election campaign and (6) because two of them are mothers with children. I understand that sentencing practice for the offensive of hooliganism is flexible so the Court has wide discretion as to the sort of sentence it can impose once it has taken the admission, apology and plea in mitigation into account.

The question is whether the outbreak of sanity we have seen this morning has come too late. The trial has now started and the apology offered is much less than fulsome and the mitigation has been seriously damaged by the arrogant and disruptive conduct of the defence up to now. Significantly there is no promise from the girls not to do the same thing again whilst a further bad sign is that the girls’ lawyers have renewed their pointless call for the Patriarch to give evidence at the trial. Since the Patriarch was not present in the Cathedral when the offence was committed he is not a witness and there is therefore no sense in calling him. I understand that the defence is also persisting in its foolish argument that the prosecution is somehow politically motivated, which makes no sense in the light of the admission made this morning and which can only further damage the girls’ mitigation and antagonise the Court.

Let us hope however that the admissions and comments made this morning do represent a sea change and a dawning realisation that the defence tactics adopted up to now whatever their political impact have been from a legal point of view disastrously counterproductive. In that case it is just possible even now that a line may be drawn under the whole affair. I am not holding my breath though.

... The Pussy Riot case shows no crisis within the Russian court system. What it shows is appalling conduct by the defence as I have discussed previously. [Emphasis added]

There are many other things that people in the West don't know, because the mainstream media don't tell them.

Russian public opinion is mostly against Pussy Riot. Maybe, partly because the Russians, speaking the language, are not so easily misinformed by the media as we in the West are, and know exactly what swear words these women were shouting while punching the air and kicking their heads off in the Cathedral's sanctuary containing the altar.

How strange that the word "hate", that so frequently and liberally is spread around by the politically correct Left, is not used by them here when it so aptly describes what the band's behaviour expresses.

This is what Zagolovki, a Russian-language news blog, says (Google translation):
Protesters [at the furst court hearing of the Pussy Riot trial] were significantly lower than during the last few sessions on the arrest of girls from Pussy Riot, - no more than two hundred persons, and opponents with posters "for morality" and "Protect Our Children" was significantly greater.
And the blog Da Russophile summarizes several opinion polls thus:
April poll, Levada: 47% of “shocked and outraged ordinary Russians” [this is what British paper The Guardian had written, which the post intelligently and mercilessly attacks] think 7 years is an adequate punishment; 32% think it is excessive; and a mere 10% do not think they should be criminally prosecuted at all.

April poll, VCIOM: How do Russians look at Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer”? Hooliganism – 46%; sacrilege – 21%; political protest – 13%; PR – 10%; 4% – encouragement of hatred towards religious groups; 1% – art. In other words, only 14% of Russians agree with The Guardian’s interpretation. 86% think Pussy Riot should be prosecuted.

July poll, Levada: 36% approve of the prosecution of Pussy Riot, 50% disapprove.

July poll, FOM: 34% of Russians think that several years in prison is a just sentence, whereas 37% disagree. If they were asked to write a sign a letter in defense of Pussy Riot, 28% say they would and 51% say they wouldn’t.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Pussy Riot Offensive, Expletive-Laden Mock Prayer

This was obviously meant to offend Christianity and the faithful, it was not a political protest with the purest, noblest, most heroic of intentions, but an act of hooliganism directed, surprise surprise, at the most vulnerable, the least politically correct of Europe's beliefs and institutions.

Double Standards: Pussy Riot Mania versus Silence on Egypt Crucifixions

Let me make a comparison.

We have on one hand a Russian punk group of three women who, under the pretense of being more intelligent than they are and staging a "political" protest against Putin, chose as the setting for their vulgar and offensive pantomime a Christian church, Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

If they are so brave, why not the Red Square? Why didn't they have the courage to choose a mosque, which would have put them not in danger of a few years' imprisonment but under a death threat from Muslims?

Don't give me that stuff about how the group wanted to denounce the close ties between the Russian Orthodox patriarchate and the Kremlin: Red Square is even closer to the Kremlin than any church.

The Pussy Riot later apologised, saying that their stunt was political, unrelated to the Orthodox religion. How can it be unrelated to it if it desecrates one of its churches?

As Orthodox commentators in the Russian media pointed out, the cathedral has become the symbol of Russia's Christian revival after 70 years of state-imposed atheism, and stands as a monument to all those who died for their faith under the Soviet Union.

The Pussy Riot's choice of venue for their action is inexcusable. It is just one of a long line of cases of people attacking Christianity and its symbols and justifying this in the name of "art" or now in this case "political protest".

Now all the international media and "celebrities" from Madonna (from whom I didn't expect anything better) to Paul McCartney (from whom disappointingly I did) have fallen into the trap of these who are at best clueless punks (in every sense of the word) or at worst talentless fame seekers who have got what they want: celebrity status without deserving it.

So, it seems that saving these three would-be singers from jail is one of the most important tasks in the world, a top priority, judging from the carpet media coverage and the intervention of everybody, from feminist groups to organizers of Global Pussy Riot Day protests in many cities around the world.

Politicians got in there too. The German Der Spiegel reported that 121 members of the Bundestag sent a letter to the Russian ambassador in Germany supporting the Pussy Riot.

On the other hand we have opponents of Egypt's President Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood who are killed and wounded in the streets, even literally crucified for their protests, media outlets closed down, journalists beaten up, and how much outcry does that provoke?

You can guess. Hardly anything at all.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

New Archbishop of Glasgow Under Fire for Comments on Homosexuality

Or rather for telling the truth.
A conservative Catholic just appointed as archbishop of Glasgow has been condemned for appearing to link the death of a Labour MP last year with his homosexuality.

Philip Tartaglia, whose appointment as the next archbishop of Glasgow by Pope Benedict was made public on Tuesday, suggested the premature death of David Cairns, a former minister, was connected to his sexuality, when he spoke at an event this year.

Cairns, himself a former Catholic priest and a widely respected Scotland Office minister, died unexpectedly aged 44 last year from complications from acute pancreatitis, shocking his family, friends and colleagues.

Tartaglia is an outspoken critic of Scottish government proposals, due to be published imminently, to legalise gay marriage and is also tipped as a successor to Cardinal Keith O'Brien as head of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland.

Currently bishop of Paisley, Tartaglia suggested at a conference on religious freedom and equality at Oxford University in April that there may have been hidden or unexplained links between Cairns's premature death and his sexuality.

In response to a question from an audience member about the suicide of a gay author in the US, the bishop said: "If what I have heard is true about the relationship between the physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true, then society is being very quiet about it.

"Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so, and nobody said anything, and why his body should just shut down at that age? Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody. But you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing, but society won't address it."

Tartaglia's remarks were condemned by Cairns's partner, Dermot Kehoe, and Tom Harris, the Labour MP for Glasgow South, blogger and a close friend of Cairns, who became the first former Catholic priest to sit in the Commons after winning Inverclyde in 2001. Harris said the bishop's comments were "ill-informed tripe".

Kehoe, who was Cairns's partner for nearly 15 years, told the Scotsman: "This is genuinely very upsetting and painful for David's family and friends. I can't believe that someone who claims to be a man of God and is seeking to give moral leadership should speak from such a position of ignorance.

"I don't care what his views on gay marriage are, but to bring in my dead partner to justify those views is wrong."

Harris wrote to Tartaglia, describing his remarks as "hurtful and ill-informed" and urged him to reconsider them.

His letter says: "I was privileged to be one of David's closest friends. His friends and family have spent the last year trying to come to terms with his tragic loss from complications arising from acute pancreatitis.

"Your public assertion that David's illness might in some way be connected to his sexuality and lifestyle was not only unsupported by any evidence, but was, I fear, unworthy of your position as a leader in the church."

A spokesman for Tartaglia said: "Responding to a question from an audience member, Bishop Tartaglia agreed that the health risks of same-sex behaviour were largely unreported.

"He mentioned the premature death of a young high-profile gay MP in this context. There was no intention to cause offence and he regrets that anyone may have been upset.

"In the case of the MP concerned, his funeral was conducted in the Catholic church and pastoral support offered to his family and friends." [Emphasis added]

The archbishop was addressing a real problem that the mainstream media don't want to face. Regardless of specific cases, medicine considers anal sex - when is the last time you even heard or read this expression? - to carry more risks than other sexual activities. Even the ultra PC NHS says so.

An additional problem is that many deaths related to AIDS - of which the main way of transmission is from man to man, at least in the West ("In 23 European countries, the new cases of HIV in men who have sex with men rose 86 percent between 2000 and 2006.") - are from diseases resulting from the weakening of the auto-immune system due to AIDS.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Intolerant Secularists

People like Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion (Amazon USA) , (Amazon UK) , and Christopher Hitchens, who wrote God Is Not Great (Amazon USA) , (Amazon UK) , et al, when attacking “religion”, play on various ambiguities. They create ambiguities in their choice of terms and then these ambiguities are convenient for them.

The first instance of ambiguity is the use of the term “religion”. It puts together all sorts of people and doctrines which may have very little in common.

To give an analogy, the flat earth theory is undoubtedly a theory of physics. It says something about the earth and, by extension, is a cosmology theory because the universe in which a flat earth exists would be a different universe from ours. It is scientific because it can be tested and disproved, as indeed it has.

Now, if I wanted to criticize scientific physics, I could bundle together the flat earth theory with Newton’s classical mechanics and Einstein’s relativity theory, and say about the former things which are obviously not true about the two latter.

When Dawkins and company attack “religion”, they bundle together Muslim suicide bombers (who are among the most hated figures of our times) with Catholic and other Christian missionaries who risk disease to help the poor in African and other Third World countries.

But, from their viewpoint, it’s a good ploy. If you are not interested in truth and intellectual honesty but only in scoring points (political and non), you can use generic terms which are obviously ambiguous and create confusion by mixing “il sacro e il profano” (“chalk and cheese”). Then, by attacking the obviously bad, you have achieved the effect of also attacking the obvioulsy good in the process. And if you’re good at it, it can be as in a magic trick: nobody noticed where the card, or in this case the truth, disappeared or indeed if it did disapper at all.

Men of science like Dawkins should know that, as in science different theories redefine the concepts they use (Newtonian time and space are not the same as Einsteinian time and space), so in religion the same is true: different doctrines have different concepts of God, and they may have very little in common.

In short, you cannot criticize “religion” meaningfully, especially by extending bad aspects of terrible religions to other religions which are fundamentally good.

Another ambiguity that they employ is when they say “religion is declining in the West” or something to that effect. In that case, what they mean is clearly “Christianity” and not “religion”, given that other religions professed by ethnic minorities who live in the West do not show sign of decline.

Here they got it wrong again. Christianity still permeates Western life and way of thinking profoundly. We are all Christian, as Oriana Fallaci says. I am an atheist Christian as she is, and I’m borrowing her expression because I think it explains well the condition of our “secular” societies too.

These, and we ourselves, have been shaped by two millennia of Christian thinking, luckily. An article by John Gray on secular fundamentalists in The Guardian seems to agree with this when he says that Dawkins & co. are really expressions of the Christian background from which they derive (and he does not even defend Christianity, he just attacks Dawkins and his gang). He believes that the very idea of history as progress is Christian.

I don’t know where we would be without this profound Christian influence. Britain, which is perhaps the least Christian country in Western Europe (perhaps in the West) has also some of the greatest drugs and alcohol problems, highest level of teenager pregnancy, highest rate of illegitimate births, biggest problem of an underclass, highest crime rate, highest level of debt among the population, highest spread of obesity.

This is where abandoning our Christian roots would lead: forgetting self-discipline and only thinking of immediate self-gratification have these effects. Which is also part of the reason why, whereas it may be possible for an individual to be atheist, I don’t think that it is apossible for a society to be atheist.

When Dawkins and people of his ilk say something like “hey, look, we are a secular society now and we are fine” or something similar, they systematically forget, overlook or disregard the many, profound, pervasive ways in which many centuries of Christianity have influenced our society and still do. I can see it in myself, how my Christian upbringing still has a (mostly beneficial) effect on me.

Where the intolerant secularists also got it wrong is in putting science and religion against each other. They think that they are incompatible, whereas in fact they occupy different domains, and there is no conflict or contradiction. In fact, you may say that the problems arise when one of them tries to occupy the other’s territory, and attributes to itself a role and capability which it does not possess.

Dawkins is a good case in point. When he writes as a modern evolutionary and genetic theorist and as a zoologist, he is fine and indeed very interesting. When he writes as a self-proclaimed philosopher and a “religion basher”, he writes nonsense.

Something similar happens to science when it usurps a role which is not its own. Dawkins is a good metaphor for this arrogance and its consequences: when he tries to attributes to both himself and science a role which they do not have and a power which they do not possess, they get it all wrong. Basically, biology is his profession, and philosophy of religion is his fun activity, his hobby. I would call him a religion basher by hobby. He definitely should stick to his profession, because he is rubbish at his hobby.

We have to be careful that science does not overstep its domain and role, because many bad things may easily follow from this.

Positivism was a 19th century philosophy which overstressed the power and importance of science. The French positivist sociologist August Comte thought that humanity goes through three stages: "the Theological, or fictitious; the Metaphysical, or abstract; and the Scientific, or positive."

Gray's article does not mention him but mentions the anthropologist James George Frazer instead, who slightly altered and popularized Comte’s theories His three stages are: primitive magic; religion; and science.

All this leads to scientism, the belief that the scientific method can be applied to everything and that science is the most authoritative and valuable learning activity to the exclusion of other viewpoints.

We can easily give too much power to science, as the case of animal experimentation clearly and tragically shows. Most people in the West probably are morally, instinctively opposed to vivisection, but they just accept it because “scientists say that it’s necessary” without even trying to question whether that statement by scientists is true or not.

Technocracy, government by scientists and technical experts, is just as bad as any other form of control by an elite.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Increasing Attacks on Christianity in Europe

I'm afraid that Raymond Ibrahim might in the not-so-distant future have more work to do when compiling his monthly statistics of persecution of Christians.

European countries may have to be added to his list.

Persecution of Christians in Europe takes mainly two forms. The first is the age-old type that we already know from what happens in Asia and Africa as Muslim (mostly illegal) immigrants spread across the globe.

The second is the brand-new, "liberal" kind, deriving from European elites' efforts to marginalize Christianity in its own historical home.

I'll focus in this post on a few examples of the increasing number of physical attacks on churches, Christian festivals, other symbols of Christianity and even Christian people throughout Europe. It must be noted that destroying crosses is a well-documented Islam's tradition.

In a cemetery in Pausa, Saxony, Germany, a 2-meter-tall statue of Jesus Christ was beheaded and the head smashed to pieces. Pastor Frank Pierel reported that such attacks take place rather frequently in his area.

In Strunjan, Slovenia, the "artist" Dean Verzel and others set fire to a votive cross erected by local seamen in the year 1600, replicating the gesture he had performed 10 years before in 2002 and for which he had been acquitted. Repeating an often-heard justification for all sorts of anti-Christian garbage, "it's nothing against Christianity", he said, "it's a 'work of art'".

In the cemetery of Canohès, France, four Christian graves were vandalized and covered with anti-Christian slogans.

In Bologna, Italy, a Moroccan student approached the faithful attending the procession of Corpus Domini and shouted "You're all a flock of sheep, you'll go to hell!" He was charged with offending people and a religious faith.

In Clouzeaux, France, the Church of the Bon Pasteur was set fire to in broad daylight. The fire was lit in three different places and caused immense damage. The altar was totally destroyed, electrical wires pulled out of the wall, crucifixes, pews, chairs, panels, chandeliers toppled and broken, holy water fonts, extremely precious vestments, and many other religious objects completely ruined. Apparently it was three local children, aged 14, 13 and 12, who caused damage of 50,000-70,000 euros.

Still in France, three men entered the Church of Cruseilles on Holy Saturday and set fire to leaflets, prayer and hymn books. The cloth covering an altar was also burned and the main altar damaged.

More cemetery vandalism in France, in Sussargues, where graves were covered with anti-Christian writings and crucifixes were turned upside down, and church vandalism in Paris.

In Duisburg, Germany, churches were attacked over the New Year with stones, firecrackers, rockets, causing tens of thousands of euros' worth of damage. The congregants said that this was not the first time.

The main server of the Catholic Church in France was hijacked by a Muslim Algerian hacker who took control of a total of 475 French websites, many Catholic, the content of which he replaced with the message "No God But Allah and Mohammed is Messenger Of Allah".

This tops it all. In Nimes, France, people who had attended a Catholic festival were leaving in cars and buses when young Arab-Muslims from the neighboring estate started to throw stones at their vehicles coming from the sanctuary. The event organisers were forced to arrange a diversion to a different route to protect the occupants of the vehicles from the savage attacks, which continued.

In Nice, France, the traditional, annual Catholic procession for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, celebrated throughout the Catholic world on August 15 but by the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption in Nice on August 14 evening, is now under police protection. During the last procession the entire route, 400 meters long, was lined by police. Who the faithful need protection from can be guessed when we know that Nice has a large Muslim population, who has been holding its prayers every Friday for years, illegally occupying public streets with impunity.

To remain in Nice, one of its churches received the dubious honor of being adorned with a huge Algerian flag on the front, covering the words "Saint Peter".

Watch this video translated by Islam versus Europe (IVE) about the many attacks committed against churches and cemeteries all over France in the first half of 2011 but prepare to be upset.

In Milbertshofen, Munich, Germany, a Catholic church has been the object of a continuous aggressive campaign for more than a year, with services disrupted, walls smeared, holy water receptacles filled with urine. Things have been set on fire, and tiles torn down from the roof; consequently it rained inside, with risk of damage to the almost 500-year-old tableau. The culprits are the neighborhood's youths and even children, almost entirely from a migrant background. A local social worker says that the youths are becoming more radical and the attacks are increasingly religiously motivated. (This video was also translated by IVE)

Another video shows St Calogero Church in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy, after Ales Halid, a drunken immigrant from Ghana already known to the police for other crimes, entered the church shouting in Arabic and smashed a small black statue of the saint against a wall. The man was so agitated that it took four police officers to restrain him before arrest. Two officers got injured and Halid also damaged the police car.

"Now we have to understand what drove this man to act in such an ugly manner" the video says, but it inadvertently hints at an answer when it adds that the attack took place "during the festivities dedicated to the Monaco Turco [Turkish Monk, a reference to St Calogero] worshipped by the people of Agrigento, saint who has been acclaimed by Bishop Montenegro as a model of integration among peoples." Maybe Halid did not want "integration", and particularly objected to a Turkish Christian monk called "the black saint".

Notice that none of the Italian media reporting this called the man "Muslim". This is the usual media line, which the president of France's National Council of Muslim Faith for some reason thought in need of being reinforced when last week he asked journalists that, in case of aggressions, the religion of neither victim nor aggressor should be mentioned.

In the cemetery of Belleville-sur-Meuse, France, the bronze statue of Christ carrying the cross was broken and fifteen graves were desecrated.

In Burgos, Spain, the two statues of St Peter and St Lawrence of the 13th-century Gothic church of San Esteban were beheaded. Police were puzzled by this attack against a place of worship, which is also an architecture jewel and an important cultural and historical heritage. The main hypothesis was that it was an act of vandalism because, if it had been a robbery, the thieves would not have damaged the statues. The church's parish priest said this was "the first time" an attack on San Esteban had ever occurred in its 8 centuries of existence.

A few years ago, 57-year-old Canon Michael Ainsworth was beaten up in his own east London churchyard by three Muslim youths who caused him serious injuries. The attacks on vicars or churches were so frequent in that parish with a large Bangladeshi Muslim population that they prompted Melanie Phillips to write: "Indeed, there appear to have been many attacks by Muslims who are clearly intent on turning east London into a no-go area for Christians".

The Telegraph wrote: "A survey of London clergy by National Churchwatch, which provides personal safety advice, found that nearly half said they had been attacked in the previous 12 months. The organisation suggested that vicars should consider taking off their dog collars when they are on their own."

The two facts that France has the lion's share of these less than edifying episodes and that, with 7.5 per cent of its population being Muslim, has the highest percentage of Muslims among Western European countries seem to go hand in hand rather well.

I could go on but you've got the idea of the current trend. This is only the tip of the iceberg.