Saturday, 13 March 2010

mid-March opinion

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about In defence of cash and the City.

This week The Question in The Guardian’s Comment is free section has been Should religious leaders tell us how to vote? Is political activism on the part of church, mosque or synagogue, in the run-up to an election, acceptable?
Here are the replies.
Terry Sanderson The dangers of dishonesty. Religious influence on the political process is at its most pernicious when it is hidden.
Harriet Baber Render unto Caesar … Religious groups are free to express their opinions, but these should not be accorded any special privilege in the secular realm.
Nick Spencer Pope Gregory’s ghost. We’re haunted by the idea that religious figures might influence the political process. But would that be such a disaster?
Tehmina Kazi My vote is my choice. General guidance is all very well. But it’s not the place of religious leaders to provide a list of approved candidates.
Austen Ivereigh The Catholic bishops get political. Terry Sanderson paints the Catholic bishops’ pre-election statement as a cliche-ridden ‘damp squib’. Judge for yourself.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, has given a lecture on The finality of Christ in a pluralist world.

In a Sacred Mysteries column in the Telegraph, The way Jesus read the Bible, Christopher Howse looks at ‘Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI’.

In a Credo column in the Times Roderick Strange writes that Penance should not be a burden but the key to joy. Let’s use prayer and penance this Lent to discover a new awareness of the divine presence.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 13 March 2010 at 11:18am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Rowan Williams's objections to his own position in Guildford are not the main ones for someone like me who has objections:

Don't forget his Lincoln lecture which, in my view (but not in that of one of my commenters) was much the better:

I made a transcription of sorts.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 13 March 2010 at 12:51pm GMT

"But then we had Lord Carey complaining that politicians are sidelining Christianity through fear of causing offence to Muslims, and Islamists being accused of infiltrating the Labour party."
- Terry Sanderson: Guardian -

And, of course, Lord Carey puts on a different face when he complains about his fear of offending Muslims when we Anglicans espouse the rights of Gays!

So. it's OK to offend them by proselytising for
their conversion to Christianity but we really need to be careful about offending them when we advocate for the rights of LGBTs. I'm confused.

If only we were all content to allow people to find God in their own way, perhaps there would be less religious tension - not only amongst the world's religions but within our own Communion.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 13 March 2010 at 11:49pm GMT

" Virtue in public life means a government which works for the common good, meaning the good of society as a whole. This starts with reducing and eliminating abortion, euthanasia, child poverty, infant mortality and all that erodes the value of life; it means putting in place proper care of the elderly and working to overcome entrenched poverty and inequality. It means opposing unjust discrimination." - Austen Ivereigh -

Many of these qualities we might agree with, but what of the very last category - that of the need to 'oppose unjust discrimination'? It would seem that - on issues like women and LGBTs - there is simply very little if any 'support for opposing unjust discrimination'. OR, is this discrimination against the Roman Catholic point of view on these important issues?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 14 March 2010 at 12:00am GMT

Is there such a thing as 'just' discrimination? Only asking.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 14 March 2010 at 9:36am GMT

I wrote about this elsewhere last year, see

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 14 March 2010 at 10:10am GMT

"Is there such a thing as 'just' discrimination?"

Of course. In fact, all laws "discriminate," that is, make a distinction between two states or acts.

The laws of theft punishes thieves, but does not punish those who are not thieves. It discriminates against thieves and thievery.

Marriage law discriminates against the single. There are different laws that apply. (Of course, twenty years ago, when all the talk was about the "marriage penalty," it was said that the law discriminated against the married.) If was was really all for equality, one would demand the abolition of the distinction between married and single.

Children are treated differently than adults. I have particular legal rights over and responsibilities for my own children which I don't have toward other children.

The list is endless. The law itself is to discriminate between what is desired or encouraged and what is to be discouraged or punished.

The law does not allow discrimination as to race because there are no matters where race is a just category for treating people differently.

So, if a law is said to be "discriminatory," the question of its justice isn't thereby determined. One must go on to ask whether this is a distinction that can, in justice, be treated differently. That's really where the controversy lies.

Posted by: rick allen on Monday, 15 March 2010 at 3:30pm GMT

"So, if a law is said to be "discriminatory," the question of its justice isn't thereby determined."
- rick allen, on Monday -

Ah! Rick, BUT IT MAY BE - 'thereby determined' - as you have agreed, for instance, in the important matter of racial discrimination. Therefore, why not with sexual discrimination - where there is also a 'justice issue'.

My Chambers Dictionary has this to say - under the heading of 'discrimination' - "to distinguish (in favour of or against); to treat differently, esp. because of one's feelings or PREJUDICES, about a person's SEX, RACE, RELIGION etc."

This would seem to me capable of interpretation as acting unjustly in at least these three areas - or is institutional prejudice, in these contexts, something you don't care to qualify as rank 'injustice'.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 15 March 2010 at 11:25pm GMT
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