Thinking Anglicans

Saturday opinions

Roderick Strange writes in The Times about Advent: Nativity narratives are a gift from the gospel’s heart.

Martyn Percy writes in the Guardian that: Advent is a time of serious preparation, but it’s about far more than Christmas.

Christopher Howse writes in the Daily Telegraph about a new papal encyclical: Spe Salvi, says Pope Benedict.

The same paper also has a piece by Sam Leith titled Loving William Blake for being bonkers.

Giles Fraser who has returned from his US trip, writes in the Church Times about How the US conscience has become diseased.

In the Los Angeles Times there is an essay by Laura Miller on the Religious furor over ‘The Golden Compass’.

Added
And here’s a bonus column: Andrew Brown writes about Kitschmas: Funnier than thou.

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Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Emails warning me of the dangers of the Golden Compass have been flooding in from my evangelical friends too. I suspect they haven’t actually read the books. I tend to respond by sending them a copy of Rowan William’s comments at the time when His Dark Materials was put on as a play at the National Theatre, and he said the books should be required reading on the RE syllabus and the meanings teased out by well trained RE teachers. His on-stage conversations with Philip Pullman after the plays were fascinating. Even if we don’t agree with him, he’s right… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

I like the idea in the Pullman article of ‘making a new god fit for our age’. Come back, golden calf – all is forgiven.

What happens in the next ‘age’, then? Hey, we melt down the calf and remould it in our own image anew.

Clearly such a god must have created the universe and all that therein is.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
13 years ago

Laura Miller makes an interesting point on the politics of listening in her piece on “The Golden Compass”:

“In America […] religious groups gain political advantage and rally their followers by presenting themselves as embattled. Actually listening to the other side is tantamount to admitting you’re not really being persecuted.”

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

Erica:
This an interesting opinion piece on the HDM books. Having never heard of them until yesterday, I couldn’t pass judgment on them, but remember the evo furor over the Harry Potter books a decade ago.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2007/11/30/notes113007.DTL

Frank
Frank
13 years ago

The only dangerous books are the ones which you drop on your toe. Gout merely enhances the experience, and elicits language you never realized existed in your vocabulary. Every book has some knowledge to impart, even the ones you drop on your toe.

Frank
Frank
13 years ago

I might add, censorship contributes nothing.

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

And I completely agree with Giles Fraser about my native country. When one turns on the television and can see somebody being maimed or killed within five minutes, but revile at two actors of the same sex kissing one another, those of us in the USA have become very sick indeed.

Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
13 years ago

“This is what makes the war on terror such a well of moral evil. Americans are fed a constant diet of fear about the outside world. Many of them do not have passports. Local newspapers and TV channels think the story of the local dog caught in a tree is more newsworthy than thousands dead in a faraway land.” Giles Fraser The war on terror extends from the “gated thinking and selective believing” to a everyday, on-the-ground, American life (mostly in Blue States and rural town clusters of loud mouthed bigots)in dangerous DENIAL. Minority people, sometimes illegal, mostly of color,… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Both Fraser and Miller have accurately assessed the current US milieu, more’s the pity.

One other point about Miller’s piece: Although no one ever seems to challenge him in the media, William Donahue’s “Catholic League” appears to exist merely as a conduit for Donahue to get on TV and complain about how Roman Catholics are treated in the United States. There’s no accurate accounting of how many members it has, or what it does beyond giving Donahue apparent backing for his little tirades.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
13 years ago

I read the first book in the trilogy and found it both intriguing and at times irritating. I’ve not had time to pick up the other two. And yes, the religgious authorities, who appear to be Calvinists on Steroids, are nasty.

If this movie prompts American children to attempt these books, which command a much more difficult vocabulary and a more convoluted plot line than the Harry Potter books, well good.

The title for the trilogy, “His Drak Materials,” comes from Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Milton, also, was not fan of Calvinists.

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Laura Miller’s comments about the rightwing believer alarm concerning Pullman points me towards the whole conservative realignment controversy being pitched so hard among us now. Surely the false witness against Pullman seems quite familiar, yet another iteration of the too clever by far and not so clever at all false witness of our mischievous conservative Anglican realignment. First, skewing things and taking them out of multiple levels of context. Quote: … taken out of context — not just out of the context of a particular interview or newspaper editorial, but out of the context of an entire [western and/or global?]… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

“I like the idea in the Pullman article of ‘making a new god fit for our age’. Come back, golden calf – all is forgiven.”

Did you actually read the books?

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
13 years ago

Thank God for “Ship of Fools”. All of it, not just “Kitschmas”.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
13 years ago

Every year the American Library Association publishes a list of the top 100 books that have been challenged in libraries and pyublic schools. They do this during what they call Banned Book Week. Madeline L’Engle’s books were often on the list, the Potter Books, and the Pullman trilogy … as well as The Diary of Ann Frank, and, yes, Heather Has Two Mommies. The book banners of course forget that the Bible itself has been banned for sale to lay folk, and that those who, early on, dared translate the Bible into the vernacular risked – and some underwent –… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

A new use for books, weapons of torture, particularly to gout sufferers! Chuckles. drdanfee has already noted something that is coming up. “The deep underlying fear of the conservative realignment is the fear of human freedom – upon which mystical foundations human responsibility constantly unfolds and evolves.” Absolutely. They are trying to claim this is not biblical, but it is intrinsically what God is about. Percy referred to some feedback from school children “And from their schools the children seemed to have learned that the great evils of the day are global warming, pollution and bullying. And the answers to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Cynthia Gilliatt wrote: “… a list of the top 100 books that have been challenged in libraries and public schools. … Madeline L’Engle’s books were often on the list, the Potter Books, and the Pullman trilogy … as well as The Diary of Anne Frank, and …”

“The Diary of Anne Frank …” Well, that was the end of Ben W’s spin on Deutsche Christen and Dr Bonhoeffer, I am sure.

Or am I really ;=)

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

Leonard Ricardo: I think you meant “Red” states.

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