Comments: opinion for Christ the King

Mr. Blair is completely mistaken in giving Christianity credit for the abolition of slavery. The abolition of slavery was largely a product of the enlightenment coupled with advancements in manufacturing. The early church going abolitionists had an up hill struggle inside the church in advancing their convictions. Seems we have not learned much in the meantime. Gay and Lesbian people now have full civil rights and access to marriage in this country (Canada). The issue, and its resolution, has passed the Church by. Whenever I have conversation with non-church people at social events ( they are the majority) their disdain for that they see believe to be a homophobic organization comes across loud and clear. The church needs to be more honest about its past. It might actually help us be more socially responsible in the present.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 20 November 2010 at 2:41pm GMT

I write to thank the administrators of Thinking Anglicans for including the article from the Irish Times: "Simple message of Jesus has been complicated and twisted." This sums up in brief what I have been thinking for many years. I hope others are as moved as I was by this article.

Posted by Chris Smith at Saturday, 20 November 2010 at 8:15pm GMT

The Archbishop of Canterbury has a very strange and distorted view of recent history:

"To take some examples that are not just academic in the light of the last decade or so, this 'closing down' of possibilities might be evidenced in policies that restrict access to or support for public educational facilities like libraries and galleries; in employment regimes that reward patterns of work that undermine family life; in the encouragement of unmanageable debt; in the scapegoating, in general social attitudes or in policy, of refugees; or in the pressure for the kind of savings in public care budgets that further centralise and bureaucratise contact with physicians and narrow the pastoral or personal responsibilities of the nursing profession.

"I mention these examples as examples of policies that actually narrow the range of what human beings can reasonably expect in public life and public services. They are the sort of issues that are not all that well dealt with in the framework of a purely liberal political culture..."

I do not know what he could mean by holding "liberals" responsible for the changes he deplores. He is certainly not describing the political landscape of the United States when he does so.

"Liberals" have not been closing down museums or cutting funding for the arts. They have not been opposed to laws mandating employers to give family or maternal leave. They have fought insurance companies so that families could receive support for home health care. "Liberals" have not scapegoated "illegal immigrants" (or, for that matter, gay and lesbian people, dear Archbishop). Finally, "liberals" handed the Bush administration a budget surplus, which the Bush administration proceeded to squander, running two wars while cutting taxes and allowing earmarks and spending on dubious "Homeland Security" projects to run out of control.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's remarks evince as strangely distorted a view of recent history as any to be found on Fox News. Other than that, I really don't know what to say. I cannot engage with such remarks in any way at all.

Posted by Charlotte at Saturday, 20 November 2010 at 10:02pm GMT

I was Chris Smith and also some interesting comments followed it.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 20 November 2010 at 11:19pm GMT

Charlotte, I think he must be using "liberal" in the British sense of the word, which is more like "libertarian" in the U.S.

Posted by JPM at Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 4:00am GMT

"...or in the pressure for the kind of savings in public care budgets that further centralise and bureaucratise contact with physicians and narrow the pastoral or personal responsibilities of the nursing profession."

- ABC's "Faith & Enlightenment' speech -

Reading between the lines in this tiny fragment of the Archbishop's lecture, I was tempted to compare his awareness of the problems of the tendency to 'beaurocratise' the lines of admin-istration in the nursing profession, with the tendency to beaurocratise the administration of the Anglican Communion through the COVENANT.
Both equally non-productive and counter-justice- promoting.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 5:12am GMT

""The horrors of clerical child abuse and the arguments over homosexuality... are obscuring the basic decency that comes from the commandments to peace contained in all religions, a commandment which in the Christian church, for instance, requires each member of a congregation at every service to greet his or her neighbours with the words 'Peace be with you'"

- Lord Blair - Theos Annual Lecture -

I found Lord Blair's eirenic speech most wholesome - in it's reference to the need of peace, rather than religious conflict. His mention of 'the arguments over homosexuality' as being a part of the problem of violence in our world of today struck a familiar chord. The present seeming inability of the Churches of the 'Global South' to even discuss the subject of homosexuality with any rational understanding of the need to overturn the ethos of demonising the given reality of intrinsic, God-given, sexual difference - not only among fellow Christians but also in the world at large - is a very real problem which the Anglican Communion Churches must earnestly seek to oberthrow.

Of course, there will be the tendency on the part of the 'Global South', and also other theological conservatives in the Church, to lump together the 2 categories mentioned here by Lord Blair - those of 'the horrors of child abuse' & 'the arguments over homosexuality', but they are not one and the same, and society needs to be made aware of that reality. - NO COVENANT!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 5:30am GMT

Whatever "liberal" meant in mid-nineteenth century Manchester, no one has used the word in that sense since Herbert Asquith resigned the premiership. It looks like a case of deliberate, studied ambiguity, the "shifting terms" fallacy. It is unworthy of him.

Posted by Charlotte at Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 3:42pm GMT

Charlotte, with all due respect the term is routinely used in the Mancunian sense in contemporary continental Catholicism and sometimes in American Catholicism as well. Also in historically informed economics and cultural history. Since Dr. Williams was talking about Isaiah Berlin, I think the referent was clearly not to contemporary American political usage.

Posted by Gene O'Grady at Monday, 22 November 2010 at 4:33am GMT
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