Open Season on Ridiculing Christianity

Britain is now almost completely officially a post-Christian country. As reported in the Daily Telegraph, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, which was passed with amendements abolishing the blasphemy laws, has received the Royal Assent.

As junior Justice minister Maria Eagle said in debte, “Given theat these laws protect only the tenets of the Christian Churches, they would appear to be plainly discriminatory.” Of course, given that the UK is officially a Christian country, with an established Church, this would appear to be plainly appropriate.

As a practical matter, this will mean that non-Christian religions, which are increasing protected, will be at an advantage over Christianity. This is not because prosecutions will now cease under the blasphemy laws. The last prosecution was in 1977. It is because it sends the message that Christianity does not even enjoy the pretense of protection.

The amendment was proposed by Dr Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat who is always at the forefront of the affront to Christianity. Dr Harris is also the big proponent make abortion more accessible and genetically modifying humans through embyro manipulation and hybridisation.

Anglicans (and the Government) Want Sharia For Britain

The Archbishop of Canterbury believes that Islamic Sharia is not only more appropriate in some areas of the law, but that it is inevitable that it will be incorporated into British law. Rowan Williams says the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams said the idea that “there’s one law for everybody”under a single sovereign was “a bit of a danger”. A danger to whom? To those who opposed Sharia? He says that officially incorporating Sharia law would improve community relations. Now there’s accommodation.

But wait a minute. Dr Williams is a little behind the times. As I mentioned last week, ministers (without the consent of Parliament) have already legalised polygamy. This has been done specifically to accomodate Islamic law, which allows for up to four wives. So if they are going to allow for Sharia marriage, why not Sharia divorce?

Thus, Gordon Brown’s response to Dr Williams that he “believes that British laws should be based on British values” is not paticularly credible. Rather he’s saying what non-Muslim voters want to hear, while doing what Muslims want him to do.

UPDATE: A lady in the Question Time audience raised the same point about the legalised polygamy, and the Cabinet Minister on the panel was unaware of this and had not even read newspaper reports. It was the Opposition shadow minister who was aware that this additional benefits arrangement for husbands with more than one wife was a coordinated effort between four Government departments – departments represented at the Cabinet table.

Missing the Point of Lent

I sat down to write something else, but I checked my email and an saw one of the most ridiculous things in the history of Christianity. I say that realising that there have been some pretty ridiculous things.

The Anglican bishops of Liverpool and London have decided that it is not enough to give up chocolate for Lent. That Anglicans give up chocolate for Lent should tell you something about how far they’ve drifted from Holy Tradition, but I suppose they’re a step better than those who have given up Lent altogether. So maybe you are thinking the good bishops are moving in a positive direction. Wrong.

The Rt Revs James Jones and Richard Chartres want us to give up carbon. Not all carbon, mind you, given that we are carbon-based life-forms. And not actually the eating of carbon – or anything else for that matter. No, it’s much more convoluted than that. They want us to give up a light bulb. Here’s how it works: Light bulbs require electricty; electricity has to be produced; producing eletricity result in the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; Al Gore says that’s bad.

Put differently, the Bishop of Liverpool’s logic is this, “It is the poor who are already suffering the effects of climate change. To carry on regardless of their plight is to fly in the face of Christian teaching.” The poor are suffering the effect of climate change? Seems to me the warmer weather makes it easier to sleep rough. People in substandard housing with poor insulation are paying less for heating. How are the poor suffering?

I’m not particular good at doing Lent (which for Orthodox Christians doesn’t start until March 10), but I won’t be using it for making a political statement based upon specious science. I hope you won’t either.

The Mark of the Motion

I haven’t been looking around the blogosphere, so everyone may be talking about it. The wife sent this news article to me, which I’ve included in full. Does this mean the Church of England is the Antichrist, or rather that Parliament (or those proposing the motion) are?

Since the Antichrist or the Beast is supposed to deceive the whole world, I’m not putting my money on either one. After, very few people are likely follow the C of E anywhere, since even most Anglicans world-wide don’t. And given the rise of the executive power of the Government in this country, combined with the supremacy of European law, the sovereignty of Parliament means less and less.

AFP – Thursday, January 10 12:57 pm

LONDON (AFP) – Eyebrows were raised in the House of Commons on Thursday when a motion calling for the Church of England to be disestablished was listed with the number 666, symbol of the AntiChrist.”This number is supposed to be the mark of the Devil. It looks as though God or the Devil have been moving in mysterious ways,” said Bob Russell, a Liberal Democrat MP among those proposing the motion for debate.”What is even stranger is that this motion was tabled last night when MPs were debating blasphemy,” he added.

The motion calls for an end to the formal link between Church and State in England — embodied in the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is both head of state and head of the Church of England.

The number 666 is referred to in the Book of Revelations in the Bible: “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred, three score and six.””It is is incredible that a motion like this should have, by chance, acquired this significant number,” said Russell.

Under the rules of the House of Commons the motion by backbenchers has little chance of actually being debated in parliament.

Alternative Profession of Faith

It started with the Archbishop of Canterbury dismissing the story of the Wise Men as legend. Fortunately, upon closer inspection he agrees with Matthew’s Gospel that “they are astrologers, wise men, priests from somewhere outside the Roman Empire, that’s all we’re really told.” It the bits about there being three of them or being kings that he says are legend. Actually, I don’t even think those things rate as legend.

But as Ruth Gledhill reports in The Times,

Although he believed in it himself, he advised that new Christians need not fear that they had to leap over the “hurdle” of belief in the Virgin Birth before they could be “signed up”.

So we know where Rowan Williams stands on the essentials of the faith.

Since baptism is how you get “signed up”, I thought Williams couldn’t be correct, as I recalled you have to profess the Apostle’s Creed during the baptismal liturgy in the C of E. Not any more. There’s a “Alternative Profession of Faith”. I’m sure it’s been there for quite some time. When it comes to Jesus, all you do is listen to the question, ” Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again?” then answer “I believe and trust in him.” No need to believe in His Lordship, His conception by the Holy Spirit, His virgin birth, his suffering, His Ascension, His present mediation at the right hand of thr Father, His Second Coming, or Final Judgment.

This raises one tiny question. Is the Church of England a Christian church?  I’m not saying it isn’t – just asking the question. Can it make certain fundamentals of the faith optional?