Thinking Anglicans

religious opinions

Jane Shaw writes in the Guardian about feeding in church.

Roderick Strange writes in The Times about the virgin birth.

Giles Fraser asks in the Church Times Is secular France so fragile?

Over at Cif belief, Giles answers the question Is religion the opium of the people? in a column titled Radical faith.

Civitas published a report on sharia law. You can find the report itself as a PDF file, here. By far the most interesting column published in consequence of this report is Sharia law and me at Cif belief.

Madeleine Bunting reported on a seminar at Lambeth Palace, see Science, religion and our shared future.

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Ford ElmsettuPrior AelredGiles FraserJoan_of_Quark Recent comment authors
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Pluralist
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Whatever else he might have been, the one thing Jesus was was human, and to be human (so far) you have two parents, and there are the brothers and sisters. From the other end, as Bishop John Robinson might have put it, and as he did put it, there cannot be the appearance of humanity without actual humanity, that would be the appearance of millions of years to some creationists when for them the earth is some 6000 years old. Appearing to be human is not being human. But I wouldn’t bother with this argument. All I see is a… Read more »

BillyD
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“Whatever else he might have been, the one thing Jesus was was human, and to be human (so far) you have two parents…” I think that this is an example of the sort of circular argument called “question begging.” The question is precisely whether “so far” it is indeed true that all humans have had two parents, or whether Jesus Christ was an exception; the only way that you can make the statement that “to be a human (so far) you have two parents” is by already having made up your mind as to the exception. The Virgin Birth may… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

I have to take exception to Giles Fraser’s essay, I think what the French are trying to do is to put a check on religious extremism; as it could be put forth that requiring a person to dress a certain way (outside of their religious ceremonies) against their will could be considered an affront to their individual liberties. If a government can put forth laws that require religious institutions to not discriminate (as what seems to be going on in the U.K. at present), then certainly it can banish restrictive and humiliating treatment women. Both are measures in my mind,… Read more »

BillyD
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PIMF: “does not disprove it.”

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the secular French government make Dec 25th a holiday? If so, then they have a nerve telling non-Christians how to observe their faith because France is a ‘secular’ state. If the French treat Christian holy days like all other days, I take it back. Please inform me.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Choirboyfromhell

Are you saying burka = restrictive humiliating treatment of women, no burka – equality and happiness?
Isn’t that a little simplistic?
How humiliated and patronised does it make those women feel who actively want to wear the burka?
Can we really say that we have violence against women under control just because we don’t wear the burka in the West?

There are places where it should be banned – wherever effective communication is important. So you couldn’t have veiled doctors or teachers. But apart from that, it’s ill treatment of people we should fight against, not their clothing.

Simon Sarmiento
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Cynthia, strictly speaking the answer to your question is No. But French holidays in fact include several related to the liturgical calendar, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_holidays_in_France

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

In the US, only Christmas Day is observed as a holiday – Easter and the rest pass unremarked, although some school districts key spring break to easter.

More questions – do the French also forbid yarmulkas? turbans? crosses? monks and nuns in robes?

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Erika:

Please note that I’ve used the disclaimer of “against their will”. And yes, it’s simplistic, not to mention unenforceable, to make illegal something that would be worn in the household. But it’s the attempt to call a spade a spade, religious extremism is a cancer that is ultimately of no use to anybody except to the fear-mongers. And of course there are other means of hidden violence, it’s just that this is so evident. And I should think France has laws against ill treatment of anybody-

Prior Aelred
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France’s approach to secularism is not the same as that of the tolerant English (who did, according to Diarmaid MacCulloch, kill more Roman Catholics than any other country in Europe) — it does not mean that either approach is right or wrong, but it is simply not on to criticize the French for not being English (“Storm Over Channel! Continent Isolated!”).

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Simon – thanks for more information about French law. I wonder what their practice is?

Joan_of_Quark
Guest

If I were in charge of legislation on dress, I’d leave religion out of it wherever possible: “faces must be uncovered when entering or inside public buildings, courts, banks, schools…” and that’s about it. There are plenty of voices within Islam saying the very restrictive dress codes for women are a minority opinion, and of demonstrable social origin, in certain countries only. Perhaps only concerning ourselves with faces will gradually allow women to test out for themselves norms on hair covering, full length robes, and so on; and verify that it’s still possible to express your cultural identity, and rape… Read more »

Giles Fraser
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Giles Fraser

“…. but it is simply not on to criticize the French for not being English.”

Oh Prior, and I usually agree with you so much of the time.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Giles — And I usually agree with you!
LOL!
At least the French Republic (I’ve lost track of the numbers – sorry — how is the Count of Paris doing these days?) hasn’t expelled all the monks recently (the Carthusians didn’t return until after WWII).
😉

ettu
Guest
ettu

How can one think of the French attitude about religion and the state without at least considering Talleyrand? Bishop of Autun – despite himself – defrocked by the Pope and leading the charge to confiscate Church property — the primary celebrant for the first celebration on the Champ de Mars – “Ca Ira” and all that – finally reconciling with Rome so that he could be buried as a Bishop and delaying signing the crucial document until literally minutes before his death. And yet he did all that and remained French to the core.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Whatever else he might have been, the one thing Jesus was was human, and to be human (so far) you have two parents, and there are the brothers and sisters.” But you see, for the believer, He was also God. Indeed, the entire Christ event constitutes God doing something that can only be understood in terms of faith. Of course taking the purely objective scientific approach, Jesus had to have a mother and a father. But if you take the purely scientific approach, what’s the point of practicing religion? Religion is not science, it isn’t objective. By its very nature,… Read more »