Saturday, 3 July 2010

early July opinion

Roz Kaveney in The Guardian asks What are demons, really? Christians and Satanists are both divided about the reality of demons. But even liberal believers can be led to silliness by their beliefs.

And John Casey writes in The Tablet about Talk of the Devil: Satan in Catholic theology.

Mark Vernon writes in The Guardian about The eroticism of the Church of England. The BBC’s new sitcom, Rev, is a surprisingly realistic picture about the sexual undercurrents of normal Christianity.

Alex Klaushofer writes in The Guardian about New wine in old church buildings. All over the country small churches are growing while the large buildings that once housed them decay.

And Ian Jack writes, also in The Guardian, about Saving churches for their history - not religion. These buildings are an important part of our landscape – even if they are not used for worship.

Symon Hill writes in The Guardian about Queer, Christian and proud. Ultra-conservative anti-gay Christians are a just a noisy minority. That’s why this coming Pride, the rest of us should raise the roof.

Peter Stanford has this Face to faith article in The Guardian: Christianity, arrogance and ignorance. After decades of discussion on world faiths, how could I know so little of their core beliefs?

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about The football babies come home.

Jay Michaelson asks in Religion Dispatches Does the Bible Really Call Homosexuality an “Abomination”? This word, used for centuries to justify an anti-gay posture, has been badly translated and even more poorly understood.

This week’s The Question at The Guardian’s Comment is free belief is Should religions compete? Would the world be a better place if religions concerned themselves only with the crimes and follies of their own?
Here are the responses.
Monday: Alan Race Conversation demands mutual respect. Without trust we cannot talk about God, but to build trust we must avoid trying to convert or lecture people
Thursday Maggi Dawn Religions should not compete for power. The call for peace at the heart of most religions contrasts with the way they behave as competing communities.
Friday Mehdi Hasan
Islam should not be missionary. Muslims must shun the divisive idea of a marketplace of religions which all compete for believers.

The Times has now hidden itself behind its paywall.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 11:10am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
Comments

Today the Diocese in Europe is keeping Simon Sarmiento in our prayers (he is our webmaster) so perhaps it would a good time for all of us to pray for Simon with grateful thanksgiving.

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 12:10pm BST

Giles Fraser again is razor sharp with his summation of England's football player's lack of maturity. If anything, it is worse in the states with our (U.S.) football players that regularly make news headlines crashing over-powered motorcycles and being involved in drug-related crimes. And it's not limited to football, a certain golfer and his sexual escapades, two twin tennis players and their tantrums overseas, and then there are the baseball players and their newly discovered world of performance-enhancing drugs.

We pay these people incredible sums of money (at least we do here in the U.S.) and it should come as no surprise of their reaction from being showered with it; most have little education beyond their sport to effectively come to responsible terms of their new-found wealth.

What is sad is at the same time we throw dollars/pounds/euros to these overgrown brats is the starvation of the arts, of which the church is equally guilty of. In this day and age it is ironic to see churches closed, choirs disbanded (or worse, replaced with expensive electronics to satisfy the it's-all-about-me-now-instant gratification generation) and architectural gems are tore down as we blithely drive by in our "blinged-out" cars.

These babies are a reflection of ourselves, and they are a product of our society. False idols indeed.

Posted by: evensongjunkie on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 1:27pm BST

Today the Diocese in Europe is keeping Simon Sarmiento in our prayers (he is our webmaster) so perhaps it would a good time for all of us to pray for Simon with grateful thanksgiving.

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 12:10pm B

Is all well with him ? Hope so.

Posted by: Pantycelyn on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 7:22pm BST

Prayers of thanks for Simon, indeed.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 9:12pm BST

I, for one, have been amazed at the amount of work and effort which has been put into this web-site by our esteemed web-masters - especially Simon Sarmiento.

Without this particular site - recommended to me by a clergy relative in England - I would not be so motivated to 'open-up' in so public an arena as the internet provides. Bravo Simon and Company.
Prayers and Blessings!

And - thanks to our co-commentators on this site. I enjoy our conversations, and hope to learn more about the opinion of fellow Anglicans around the world. One cannot help but put one's own point of view - sometimes a bit strongly; but then, what's it all about but sharing?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 4:12am BST

"Specifically, and not just in Africa, demonic possession, often transmitted by intercourse, is their explanation why people are gay or trans, and their perfect reply to the argument that Christianity is all about love and tolerance. Get the demons out, by any means necessary, and no more queers – problem solved."

- Roz Kaveney, The Guardian (CiF) -

Haing in mind the behaviour of a certain African Bishop at the 1998 Lambeth Conference, when he tried to 'exorcize' a gay clergyman; one realizes the unhealthy basis of the primitive belief that homosexuality is a manifestation of the the devil.

For a Christian to believe, in today's scientific world of cause and effect, that homosexuality is a sign of evil in a person, which needs to be dealt with by exorcism, is almost the equivalent of believing that women are second-class citizens - because of the supposed seductive powers of Eve over Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Untold harm may have been done to many youngsters in the Christian Church who have a naturally homo-sexual orientation, by the sort of propaganda - that their sexual orientation is really 'The Work of The Devil, needing to be 'gotten rid of' by fervent prayer or the rite of exorcism. The Lambeth African Bishop's behaviour was just such an example of the irrational 'mind-set' that has pushed the subject of gay and lesbian orientation into such disrepute in the Church.

The very existence of the obvious diversity in sexual orientation - which is present in the animal world as well as the human - ought to be recognized as a paradigm of the infinite diversity of God's Creation in the world that is ours. The real issue that needs to be addressed - in the realm of human sexuality - is we use properly the gift that God has given to us as individuals. Is it used primarily to satisfy our own need of personal gratification, or is it seen as the gift of God to enable all human beings to recognize and honour, by our loving faithfulness, the eventual significant 'other' in our lives - as partner and life-long companion. Whether this be in the course of a heterosexual or a homosexual partnership, the need and the issues are the same.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 4:52am BST

What then, do you say about Jay Michaelson's piece about Biblical translation in Religion Dispatches?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 9:50am BST

Peter Stanford can relax, the basic knowledge of the major religions is standard curriculum at GCSE level.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 1:12pm BST
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