Thinking Anglicans

opinions at the weekend

Rowan Williams wrote in The Times earlier this week that A society that does not allow crosses or veils in public is a dangerous one.

Charles Moore writing in the Telegraph today, disagrees with him: Church schools kerfuffle is just the veil wagging the dog.

Stephen Plant writes in The Times today about The political race between the Evangelical God and the ‘ordinary one’.

Theo Hobson writes in the Guardian’s Face to faith column that Secular Christianity can reconnect religion to our world.

Christopher Howse uses his Telegraph column to write about Michael Mayne in A song that went on to the end.

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Cheryl CloughFord ElmsDave WilliamsGöran Koch-SwahneJ. C. Fisher Recent comment authors
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J. C. Fisher
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J. C. Fisher

“A society that does not allow crosses or veils in public is a dangerous one” It may be that Rowan Cantuar’s Times piece was headlined by an editor, but nevertheless, the fact that he makes the conflation “visible public signs of religion…crosses around necks, sidelocks, turbans or veils” prompts me to cautiously comment negatively. In the “Veil Controversy”, I think a problem has arisen, merely in translating *niqab* as “veil”. The word veil, in the West, contemporarily suggests the diaphanous (virtually transparent) bridal garment, which only appears (if then) at the beginning of a wedding, and is lifted before the… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Theo Hobson’s comments are consistent with other contemplations around the net. There is an exploration of how to have a faith that is true to the intent of the bible, whilst being part of a broader pluralistic world. There is the tension of how to run ourselves versus how we are influenced or contained by others to how we influence or contain others. The latter links directly into Rowan Williams’ piece, which left me wondering whether he has yet taken the time to step back and contemplate the dynamics of China in terms of the broader Anglican Communion? One thing… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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The comments JC makes about veils could apply to people who wear crosses or other religious symbols too. Some of the most sanctimonious people I’ve ever known were diligent in the wearing of their crosses. The comparisions to Klu Klux Klan are interesting, in that their uniform was partly to hide identity but implicit in its wearing was a statement of hatred towards blacks. Same as the wearing of the swatzika was a statement by Nazis of hatred towards Jews (and others). A rabid element within any religion should not justify insulting the whole of the religion. Again, if we… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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In The Times Stephen Plant accuses critics of Evangelicals of double standards, criticising Evangelicals both for being both and for being a-political.

Well, that comes out of the double-speak of the self-designation.

Either Evangelicals are a late 17th century branch of Calvinism, which is strongly political for religious reasons, or they are a late 17th century branch of Pietism, which is a-political for political reasons.

They cannot have it both ways.

(You all know the Lutheran stand, that every mixis of Church and State will do irretrievable damage to both).

Cheryl Clough
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Goran, I am glad you chose to cover this material. My first posting was 424 words and that necessitated leaving some things out. I concur that it is not appropriate for evangelicals to want it both ways. Much of my contemplations yesterday were how the churches had evolved to the point that there was contempt for the earth and its inhabitants. (Obviously forgetting that Moses was barred from the Holy Land for striking the earth and Jesus refers to the earth as God’s footstool (Matthew 5:35)) Further that there must be a theological paradigm that justifies indifference to systemised impoverishment,… Read more »

Dave Williams
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Dave Williams

Cheryl,

If your comments were aimed at evangelicals then they are untrue and offensive. You obviously haven’t heard of Tearfund as one small example! But then that follows on from a post that trys to compare religious debate in Brtian with persecution in China. I’m not too bothered if you want to be offensive to Evangelicals with your spiteful and ignorant comments but please consider your inappropriate comments about the suffering church again

Cheryl Clough
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Dave

My comments do apply to some evangelicals, and these are based on real experiences and historical evidence. If there are souls who are insulted, it is because they are guilty of insulting behaviour.

The moderates already know that I do not consider all evangelicals to be of this ilk, I consider myself to be an evangelical. Its just that the group who is insulted does not acknowlege my legitimacy.

Better to be hated by oppressors than seen to justify oppression.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“The comments JC makes about veils could apply to people who wear crosses or other religious symbols too.” I don’t agree, Cheryl. Veils conceal one’s identity, other religious symbols do not. There is great danger in allowing members of the public to go about their daily affairs masked. As has been stated, many Western societies, including that where I live, have found it necessary to prohibit their citizens from doing so, and, at least in our case, the masking was not a statement of any minority status. What’s more, women are only masked in certain Muslim societies, generally those which… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Ford

How does the masking affect the needs of society? Masks are not the only way to dissemble one’s identity. There is plastic surgery, hair styles, beards and moustaches, stage makeup, deliberate changes in posture.

I feel a need for more clarification on what you are saying. Maybe some situation examples would help? How or where is masking a problem?

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

Where I come from, it used to be a tradition at Christmas time for people to dress up and go around the streets accosting people with what for the day was the equivalent of Nerf balls. It was all meant to be good holiday fun, and was a survival of a medieval British custom. It also led to a great deal of petty crime, pickpocketting, assault, that sort of thing, and eventually had to be banned. It was over a century ago, so many don’t even know such a thing existed. If one covers one’s face, one can do many… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Ford. I can understand your sentiments, but the area is very emotional. I do not approve of extremism e.g. throwing acid in the faces of women who do not wear veils. Nor do I agree with forced conversions (either with actual force, the threat of force, or through legal and/or economic sanctions). There are people (in all camps) who have made it their life mission to be the whining victim advocates on behalf of whatever group they represent. There are other people who choose to stir up the pots of dissension and intolerance as that it makes it easier pickings… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

I agree the wearing of veils is a small issue. I just didn’t, and don’t, agree that covering one’s face is the same as wearing a cross or Magen David, or other religious symbol. There are implications both ways, of course. For example, it would likely be quite traumatic for someone who has covered her face in public all her life to have to go about uncovered. I don’t buy, however, that it is a religious issue, since many Muslim women don’t cover their faces at all. I’m with you on the issue of extremism.

Cheryl Clough
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Ford, I liked the compassion in your last posting and am glad that we are in agreement against extremism. To succeed against the battle against extremism, we need to understand the underpinnings that evolve into extremism. One of the things about extremism is that souls are often very fearful or have a “high control” need. They want the world to be moulded into a form that makes them feel safe, and they want the world to agree and mutually hate that which makes them feel unsafe. This then leads to the questions of tolerance and diversity. A “high control” soul… Read more »