Thinking Anglicans

bank holiday weekend

The Guardian considers John Betjeman’s poetry in a Face to Faith column by Terry Philpot.

So also does Charles Moore in a Telegraph column.

Christopher Howse has written about The Vatican’s war of words. For more on this, the Tablet article by Arthur Roche is here.

In The Times Ziauddin Sardar discusses Hezbollah.

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times about Dewi Zephaniah Phillips.

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Cheryl Clough
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Nice articles. I particularly enjoyed Ziauddin Sardar’s considered discussion about Hezbollah, addressing the positive things they do, but being honest about the fears as well. A big issue confronting Hezbollah, that is common to all the religious leaders seeking theological domination and authoritarian control, is “would God want this”? How far to go? There was an excellent article on Algemeiner the other day: http://www.algemeiner.com/generic.asp?ID=506. I had some fun collating some ponderings that have been happening over the last week: http://www.wombatwonderings.org/plugins/newsfeed.cgi?rm=content&plugin_data_id=14463 And I just love the biblical imagery of people offering hospitality to “the other” throughout the bible. One of my… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

And what does an islamic faith-based state look like? Sardar is perfectly realistic about Hexbollah’s aims: they are sponsored by Iran, which has no place for dissidents.

Here is a link to the Iranian Rights campaign –

http://www.geocities.com/iranian_rights/

The pictures they provide are most unpleasant, but they show how cheaply life is held in this islamic nation.

It is astonishing to think that the national cathedral in Washington DC has invited Khatami there. He has cultivated a moderate image, but even he condones torture:

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drdanfee
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drdanfee

Wow thanks loads for the D. Z. Phillips clue. I shall add his works into my long, long reading lists right away. I suspect his approach will walk on pathways I struggle to see and understand. Ah, the alternatives to closed frame doctrines and undoubted certainties of so many powerful sorts.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

But Hizbollah isn’t Iran.

And I would have thought that conservative Islamists have much in common with conservative Christians in any case.

Talking of life being held cheaply, visited Texas lately?

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

Hezbollah is sponsored, equipped and trained by Iran. I suppose MM would prefer a secular variant, so I expect he would approve N Korea’s enlightened, non-superstitious approach to Christianity:

http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/367.htm

http://www.martinrothonline.com/MRCC35.htm

Cheryl Clough
Guest

It is possible to drag up mud against any religious or secular caste and then generalise that to demonize the whole philosophy. Communism was dismissed out of hand through the failed experiment under Pol Pot and Stalin; and we overlooked the merits of Cuba & Nicaragua. If Christianity was to be held up on its worst case examples – we have the witch-burning dark ages, the crusades, and Hitler’s protestant perversion. Then we have states that like to make out they are “above Iran or Afghanistan” but have a filthy underbelly e.g. Hurricane Katrina exposed the US’s negligence to its… Read more »

simon dawson
Guest

Alan, You said “It is astonishing to think that the national cathedral in Washington DC has invited Khatami there. He has cultivated a moderate image, but even he condones torture:” If we were to be consistent in our standards, then if we ban Khatami from a cathedral for condoning torture, then we would also have to ban half the US Adminstration, quite a few of the present UK Government, and even some UK judges, who in a recent judgement said it was OK to use the products of torture in evidence as long as the torture was not actually done… Read more »

clive sweeting
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clive sweeting

Cheryl Clough writes:
‘we have the witch-burning dark ages …and Hitler’s protestant perversions’
Amplification of these ellipses would be appreciated.
Cheryl also writes:
‘I am sorry but decades of such standards is not ”their fault” and relies on sophistry to explain avoiding responsibility’.
Could she spell out her meaning here?

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Hizbollah, whether we like them or not, is part of the solution in the Middle East. They remain part of the Lebanese government. They are not Iran.

As I said before Alan, I see far more parity in your views and those of conservative Islam than I do differences.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

MM, your grossly offensive comments serve only to reveal your complete failure to engage with the faith of the great majority of Christians, let alone Anglicans.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Mike and Alan
Please desist from personal attacks; how about responding to Simon Dawson’s comment instead?

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I agree with Simon’s comments.

My views on Islam are irrelevant – groups like Hizbollah have to be part of any solution. They are not going anywhere.

New Here
Guest
New Here

>>>Personally I would be very happy for US and UK churches to make that sort of stand against torture and speak out against Mr Bush and Mr Blair – but it never seems to happen to the same extent that they speak out against Muslim leaders.

Well, that would be nice, but we in the U.S. and the U.K. are far too busy fretting over what people might be doing with their pee-pees and hoo-hoos (and, heaven forbid, their woo-woos!) to be bothered with such minor matters as murder and torture.

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

Simon makes serious allegations which he cannot substantiate, which equate the US and UK governments with the methods of Iran. I wonder if he has seen the photographs, and thinks this happens in the west? I wonder if he has seen the photographs on the internet of teenagers being hanged in Iran after being “convicted” of being homosexual? I wonder if he agrees with MM that this equates to conservative Christianity?

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

But, Alan, conservative Christians are in the forefront of those who are calling for recriminalisation of homosexuality. Theonomists/reconstructionists advocate ‘Biblical’ stoning. Now, I would agree that not all are so extreme, but neither are all individual Iranians or individual muslims for that matter.

The point is that tirades against Islam are not helpful, and I would not choose to listen to Bush as any sort of authority on human rights.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

OK, MM, can you show us one example of any Anglican calling for stoning to be reintroduced?

New Here
Guest
New Here

Howard Ahmanson is an Anglican. In fact, he is putting up a big chunk of the money for the schismatics. And yes, Ahmanson is a Reconstructionist.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

So, let’s see evidence that Howard Ahmanson supports stoning…. not that one nutter represents Anglican conservatism or ECUSA. It becomes a more serious matter when islamic leaders, who are actually in power (Ahmedinejad was elected, remember) practise torture, holocaust denial, execution of adulterers and homosexuals, and call for the eradication of Israel. Hezbollah shares their views and their ambitions and is funded and equipped by Iran. Iran is not far off acquiring nuclear capability and thus the means to attack Israel. It can not be assumed that they will regard Israel’s own atomic weaponry as a deterrent. Are readers here… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I am told that George W. Bush is an Episcopalian. The US’s refusal to sign international treaties to acknowledge human rights (just last week the newly endorsed UN human rights for the disabled). See http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2006/08/un-panel-approves-disability-rights.php Then there are references e.g. the 2006 books from Noam Chomsky “Failed States” or John Pilger’s “Freedom Next Time” . Then there is Guntamano Bay, the whole scandal of secret prisons. Then there is the Latin American Oliver North/CIA/Death Squad training and sponsorship. Then there is the disaggregation of wealth in the US and the increasing diversion of funds away from wellbeing and into supporting… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I suppose you would prefer a full-scale attack on Iran, the crushing of the Palestinians, and compulsory lectures on the clash of civilisations? Frankly, I have no sympathy for Israel – everything they experience is the result of their own policies. In hindsight, I don’t believe that Israel should have been created in that region, and I don’t think it has a viable future, as there is precisely no trust left, and clearly they will always be a small minority in that geographical area. I cannot see a two-state solution being likely to work in the current climate. Clearly I… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

I am told George W Bush is a Methodist.

What delusion does Cheryl have in mind in respect of the US and Israel? Was 9/11 a delusion? Is the constant threat from islam to eradicate Jews and Israel a delusion? Would Iran attack Israel directly if it could?

How many islamic states care about the human rights of their citizens? How many islamic states are poverty-stricken? Would their citizens not benefit enormously from being able to exercise democratic rights, from freedom of thought and speech, from being able to develop a modern economy?

Em Bee
Guest
Em Bee

Cheryl, if I recall the man’s biography correctly, GW Bush was raised as an Episcopalian, but now makes his church home in the United Methodist Church.

Not that I want to deny him or anything… ;D

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Wrote Cheryl: “I am told that George W. Bush is an Episcopalian.” GWB, Jr. is not an Episcopalian, although he attends Episcopal services near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At the time of his marriage to Laura (or was it while he was in recovery from alcoholism?) he affiliated with the United Methodist Church in Texas. GHWB, Sr. and Mother Barbara are still Episcopalians. GWB, Jr. meets with the Anglican Network bishops, being close to their IRD funding sources. I am not aware of any recent meetings he has had with ++FT Griswold. GHWB, Sr. had prayers with Billy Graham inside the… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

The chequered history of one president, no wonder it is so confusing. Alan et al, your concerns about human rights in Islamic states is laudable, but the bible is about human rights in ALL states. Similarly, everyone’s concerns about whether the US president is being fairly accussed is also laudable – and I admire that trait. But there is also a question of what we are fighting for. Are we fighting for biblical principles of justice, mercy, compassion, fair treatment? Or are we fighting for the right to be “above the law” and ignore the needs of others? The latter… Read more »

ruidh
Guest

Alan Marsh wrote “How many islamic states are poverty-stricken? Would their citizens not benefit enormously from being able to exercise democratic rights, from freedom of thought and speech, from being able to develop a modern economy?” What makes you think that Muslims who had democratic rights would choose to use them to accomplish freedom of thought and speech. The available evidence is that democratic majority Muslim areas tend to vote in Sharia. Turkey is, so far, still a secular state, but it’s probably a matter of time before the government there can no longer suppress the religious parties. Democracy is… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I liked your comment ruidh that “democracy is not a panacea for countries with no history of respect for independent thought”. I read a quote from Thomas Jefferson the other day: “A nation cannot be ignorant and free”. Ignorance can include blacklisting authors or groups because they are seditious and/or ungodly (e.g. McCathyism). In recent times, I have read several internet papers where someone’s publication was dismissed, not on its content but on the history of who wrote it. There can be no real listening process if one refuses to heed the material lest one become corrupted – there can… Read more »