Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 18 December 2021

Martyn Percy Modern Church Rickety Religion (Part Three: Advent, Time and Structures)

‘Graham’ Surviving Church Will anyone ever be held to account over John Smyth?

Giles Fraser UnHerd Secular Christmas is a lie
“Only the Christian understanding of the festival makes sense”

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Evangelical Alliance: “Loving & Orthodox” or “Damaging & Dangerous”?

Russell Sandberg Law & Religion UK Christmas: a subversive legal history

Emma Beddington The Guardian Schmaltzy, saccharine or sinister? A brief guide to the worst Christmas carols
There are some readers’ letters in response: No crying he makes? Let’s sing the truth in our Christmas carols

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Susannah Clark
1 month ago

Giles makes some really good points about what ‘light in the darkness’ means, and the difference between festival and the raw realities of ‘the people who dwell in darkness’ with life’s harsh and untidy difficulties. At the same time, personally I wouldn’t want to play down the Christmas we share, in our society, and its value in spiritual terms. I believe that shared experience and shared ritual can in unfathomable ways draw people into a suspension of the usual, and an opening up to the operations of myth and the numinous. I think we need that kind of experience, and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Susannah Clark
Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

Really good piece by Jayne Ozanne. One thing that puzzles me is how can people claim to be ‘orthodox’ when they are claiming a position that is the exact opposite of what their denomination actually holds? The Church of England General Synod voted to ban conversion therapy in July 2017. This year’s Methodist conference voted for a complete ban. The Quakers recently came out in support of a complete ban, the United Reform Church has made similar moves. I don’t understand how wanting to be able to carry out conversion therapy can be seen as orthodox when denomination after denomination… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

I believe you will find that the people who define themselves as “orthodox” for supporting conversion therapy (or other anti-gay positions) think the decisions by their national church bodies, of whatever denomination, are “heretical”.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 month ago

I believe that those who self-identify as orthodox define “orthodox” as their interpretation of whatever the subject might be. They are infallible.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Richard
1 month ago

I believe orthodoxy is to believe and trust that Jesus is God, to love God, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

The Church of England is an Episcopal Church. General Synod does not decide Doctrine.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

And since when is a stand on conversion therapy a religious doctrine? Is a stand on, say, vaccination a religious doctrine?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 month ago

Ann referenced the letter from orthodox ministers and questioned their claim to orthodoxy on the basis of synodical activity. The two are unconnected. Nothing synod does alters the facts of orthodoxy. Only bishops can do that. It’s just a constitutional reality

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

When General Synod decides on something, then that is the official position. That is the case whether it is clergy pensions, ethical green investments or something else. How can anyone claim to be orthodox when they are going against the official position of their denomination? From memory, most of the Church of England bishops voted in favour of the ban on conversion therapy anyway. For other denominations, such as the Methodist Church, once their ruling body has decided something then that settles the matter. Whether it is fundamental doctrine or the colour of the carpets, the official position is the… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

Orthodox means adherence to the historic creed. There is no such thing as an orthodox position on clergy pensions, or investment policy.

Your are confusing denominational policy (which broadly speaking you correctly characterize) and orthodoxy of doctrine which you do not appear to understand.

The difference matters

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

“Orthodox means adherence to the historic creed” Will that be with or without the filioque sir? As perhaps you can appreciate, we can do either here at cafeteria catholic. There are so many competing orthodoxies these days, we try and put as many as possible on the menu. Would you like bread and wine with your entrée sir, or just the bread, or perhaps a shot of our finest grape juice? We also have a fine selection of cocktails. For your ‘scholars aperitif’ would you prefer the ‘ Kung’, the ‘Ratzinger’, the ‘Rowan’ or the ‘Jenkins’. Do save room for… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

And where in the creed–I assume you refer to the Nicene Creed–is there one word about homosexuality or conversion therapy or, for that matter, about sex of any kind?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 month ago

What point are you making that relates to my observations about orthodoxy ?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

There is nothing in any of the creeds about conversion therapy or sexual orientation, or even marriage. I agree with you that ‘orthodox’ betokens broad agreement with the creeds, in their various forms, but it’s odd how the latest conservative shibboleth gets defined as orthodoxy.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

It’s a stretch to argue the creeds left the door open to all views on marriage

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

Really? What in the creeds implies any position on marriage?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 month ago

You are advancing an argument on the basis of silence. “If it’s not mentioned it must be permissible”

Fair enough, but it is simply conjecture on your part. There is no weight or force to the claim

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

Again, provide evidence, citation, interpretation from recognized authorities, that the creeds have even an implied discussion of sex in any way. Here, I’ll help–this is the full text of the Nicene Creed: We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,     the only Son of God,     eternally begotten of the Father,     God from God, Light from Light,     true God from true God,     begotten, not made,     of one Being with the Father.     Through him all things were made.     For us and for our salvation… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 month ago

It’s interesting how little mention of the Bible as ‘the Word of God’ there is in this creed. Yes, there’s mention that the resurrection accorded with what was written. And yes, we’re told that God spoke through the prophets (though in what way – word for word, or in outbursts of insight within the human text – we are not told). There is little of the great elevation of ‘the word of God’ as somehow literal or infallible or for all times and cultures in everything it says. There is a nod to the existence of the scriptures, and the… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

The presence of bishops does not make them all-powerful, Peter. “Episcopally led; synodically governed” was the descriptor I recall being taught. The role of the Bishops is to lead and to teach, but it is not for them to decide doctrine (which is one of the reasons the elevation of Lambeth conference resolutions to the status of near-dogma is troubling).

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

The bishops are constitutionally responsible for doctrine in the Church of England. That is simply a fact. You may view it as a good thing or a bad thing but it is still true either way

Phil Groves
Phil Groves
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

And the Bishops voted on CT – so we know their mind.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Phil Groves
1 month ago

All we know of the mind of the Bishops is their implied continued compliance with their oath of obedience to uphold the historic doctrine of the Church.

It is simply wrong to believe or imply that the doctrine of the Church has changed, or that the Bishops are minded to change the doctrine.

Terminology matters.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

No wonder we’re in trouble if we’re relying on the ham fisted bishops! They’ve even had to resort to employing a theological adviser.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Fr Dean
1 month ago

I would suggest at least part of the reason for our difficulties is that we are an Episcopal church that thinks and acts as if it were a Congregational Church. There are, of course, plenty of Congregational Churches around – a perfectly routine form of church government. However, the Church of England is not one of them. General Synod will always disappoint those who do not understand that point. We end up with a lot of angry and frustrated people which helps nobody. Could the Thinking Anglicans Editors get a scholar to do a piece on Church Government and our… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter
Simon Kershaw
Simon Kershaw(@simon-kershaw)
Admin
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

I’m not that scholar(!) but perhaps it is worth pointing out that at least since the Reformation, lay people have had an important say in the governance of the Church of England. It was lay people who removed the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, lay people who helped create the Elizabeth settlement, lay people who abolished episcopacy and then restored it, lay people who initiated the reforms of dioceses and of episcopal and cathedral revenues, lay people who have nominated bishops and deans.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 month ago

None of the changes you mention are doctrinal

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

There’s official doctrine, and then there’s conscientious belief. People’s faith does not just get imposed top-down. It responds to God’s love and ongoing revelation, and the exercise of God-given conscience. To demonstrate: the ‘official’ position of the Church of England appears to be that sex should only occur between one man and one woman who are in a state of matrimony. However, the reality of what Christians believe in the Church of England is significantly different: probably at least half of the Church of England’s members believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to express their love intimately… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 month ago

I have simply described the constitutional position in relation to Doctrine within the Church of England. I can “think” about the issue anyway I like. That makes no difference at all to the reality of the position. My basic point is that the Bishops are being coy about the reality of their responsibilities and powers. That is helping nobody at all. I would suggest one thing that unites everybody is that this has all gone on for far far too long. We can “re-imagine” the position till we are blue in the face. It makes no difference. The Bishops need… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter
T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

Peter, can you corroborate this? I thought Parliament was?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  T Pott
1 month ago

Can you clarify the question somewhat. You thought Parliament was what ?

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

What a curmudgeonly and patronising article by Giles Fraser. His basic premise is that he knows best how – and even when – Christmas should be celebrated. A lot of people on TA feel ministers should decide whether to marry divorcees or same sex couples. The official position is that whole parishes can decide whether to accept women ministers. Surely, then, we can at least let people decide how they want to celebrate Christmas without judging them as being inadequate if we don’t think it as serious an affair as we believe it should be?

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

On the contrary, Kate, I suspect Giles Fraser speaks not only for the inner Grinch in many clergy by the time they’ve sung (the heretical) “little Lord Jesus no crying he makes” for the umpteenth time, but also for those people who find the bonhomie serves only to remind them of their loneliness and loss.

Every parish priest knows the tension between keeping what the Western Church has for centuries called Christmas and the Christmas relentlessly anticipated by our culture. Most are also aware that faith in the incarnation means engaging with both.

David Exham
David Exham
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

My understanding is that if a parish wishes not to accept women priests it is the PCC which must pass the resolution not the members of the parish as a whole.

Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

I have friends and family members who put their Christmas trees up in mid November this year, and started playing Christmas songs and watching Christmas movies too. Why? Not because they were trying to pretend the darkness wasn’t there. Rather the opposite: they were overwhelmed by it, and were longing for some light. I get what Giles Fraser is saying, but it seems that in this modern age of the hegemony of social media, Christianity has two choices: (1) Adjust its calendar and find another time to emphasize the Advent themes, or (b) learn from Judaism or Islam how to… Read more »

John N Wall
John N Wall
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Giles’ essay speaks deeply to me. My mother died when I was 4, just before Christmas.

So Christmas always has, for me, a deep mix of expectation and memory, of joy and grief.

Writing to you, as I do, from the USA, I share our popular culture’s efforts to put this mixture into song:

“If we make it through December”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsUm_5jHhJ4

and “Hot Buttered Rum.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE4qZjliecc

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

To Giles Fraser, I say “Bah, humbug!” There is no proof in the Gospels or any of the Epistles that mention the physical birth of Jesus of Nazareth as to what time of year Jesus was born. I don’t know whether shepherds in Judaea abided in their fields all year round, and besides, the mention of sheep. in my opinion, is more symbolism. The date of Christmas was set hundreds of years after Jesus’ birth, ministry, death (and for devout Christians, resurrection), as I understand it, to coincide with the Roman feast of Saturnalia, a feast of merry-making. If the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

Oh yes, Alastair Sim. Totally marvellous especially in “An Inspector calls”, “The happiest days …” and the St Trinian’s fillums (as my father would have said). A message related to that of “An Inspector …” comes from probably the best fillum ever, “Some like it hot” notwithstanding, namely “The day the earth stood still” 1951 version with Michael Rennie as the extraterrestrial visitor Mr Carpenter (geddit?) – truly a tale of the incarnation. I wish you all a very happy Saturnalia. If I’ve mastered all the necessary forms (PCRs are not cheap) and the Holyhead ferry is accommodating we’ll be… Read more »

John Wallace
John Wallace
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

Sorry, Peter Pi. Your TEC Dean was just referring to the first few verses of the first letter of John! As it is written in another place ‘God was manifested in the flesh’. That’s the whole point of Christmas, however much it is overlayed with sentimentality. Forget ‘secular Christmas’ and cling on to this primal statement of the Christian faith, so aptly put by John Betjamin in his poem ‘Christmas’ No love that in a family dwells,    No carolling in frosty air, Nor all the steeple-shaking bells    Can with this single Truth compare – That God was man in Palestine… Read more »

William
William
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

This nonsense about not knowing the real date of Christmas crops up every year without fail. Do you really suppose that the first Christians and the early tradition of the Church would have been unaware of when Jesus was born or even more bizarrely would have kept quiet about it or deliberately misled people? We know of the birth dates of countless historical figures before the time of Christ and I never hear these dates being questioned.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  William
1 month ago

Herod died in 4 BC. Quirenius became Governor of Syria in 6 AD. Is Matthew right and Luke wrong? Or vice versa? Or are both wrong?

William
William
Reply to  Simon Bravery
1 month ago

NT Wright (along with William Temple) suggests that the use of the Greek word ‘protos’ with the genitive can mean ‘before’ and so a reasonable translation could be that this took place before the time when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
However even if we reject this and accept that there is some kind of discrepancy between the writers about dates and times then at least this comes from looking at evidence from the text.
On the other hand, there is no concrete evidence that the early Church got the date of Christmas wrong; it is pure speculation.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  William
1 month ago

Josephus mentions that Quirinius ordered a census about 6 AD. It led to protests from the Jewish religious leaders.

William
William
Reply to  Simon Bravery
1 month ago

Interesting, I didn’t know that. But it might add weight to NT Wrights theory with Luke referring to a census before the one ordered by Quirinius.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
1 month ago

The church won’t thrive unless it can sit with people’s pain. The Archbishop evidently can’t bring himself to sit with ‘Graham’s’ pain. This week’s Private Eye highlights that the review if it ever happens will only address the suffering of affluent white boys, not the poor black boys abused by Smyth in Africa. Nor will it expose the extent to which church people here might have facilitated that abuse by getting Smyth out of this country only for him to abuse children in another country. Giles Fraser is not alone in dealing with parishioners who find Christmas incredibly painful because… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
1 month ago

Can I ask a question about a phrase used in the conversion therapy debate, please? The phrase says it should be illegal to, among other things, ‘suppress’ a person’s sexuality; the context infers if they are homosexual or lesbian. But what about heterosexual people, particularly single ones? And how is the word ‘suppress’ to be interpreted? I ask this coming from a fairly traditional evangelical background in which the suppressing of my sexual desires was a more or less mandatory part of being a Christian – any kind of active involvement, of even the simplest, most private nature, was /… Read more »

Katy Ruth Adams
Katy Ruth Adams
Reply to  John Davies
1 month ago

John,I can give an illustration from my own life. I am bisexual, I am female and was married to a man, we divorced and now I am married to a woman. As a methodist minister it would have been far easier for me to resign from the ministry than come out as being bi. Bi people as not understood by heterosexual or gay people. We’re a minority in a minority! Some Christians would tell me that I should suppress any same sex feelings, that God is only pleased if I am in a heterosexual marriage. I strongly believe that sex… Read more »

Bob Edmonds
Bob Edmonds
1 month ago

It is a spirit that requires an openness both to what the Holy Spirit is saying and to admitting that we might have got things wrong. Jayne Ozanne. But only, it would appear, if you hold the view that marriage is between a man and a woman. Perhaps those who advocate a change to the definition of marriage would heed Jayne Ozanne’s words.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Bob Edmonds
1 month ago

Which definition of marriage are you thinking of? Abraham’s, Jacob’s, David’s, Solomon’s, Peter’s, Paul’s?

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

The current definition of marriage in the Church of England prayer book.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

Ah, you want women to promise to obey their husbands.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. This is Christian marriage, loving and sacrificial.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

Which part of it, Bob? As I understand it, in the 1662 BCP the first reason for which ‘matrimony was ordained’ is ‘the procreation and care of children.’ That leaves out a lot of heterosexual couples.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Cranmer was not afflicted by our preoccupation with individualism. Matrimony was obviously ordained for the procreation and care of children and is a universal blessing for all humanity not just Christians. It is eccentric to suggest that ignores couples who are childless. Nothing is for everybody under all circumstances, except for the gospel

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

I thought it was ordained because “it is not good for Man to be alone”. The BCP claims marriage was “instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency”, i.e. that Adam and Eve are considered to be married even while still in the garden, before any children. Companionship, therefore, is the primary and sole original purpose of marriage.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

Although it was, I suppose, technically illegal the 1929 Preface to the Marriage Service quickly supplanted the 1662 I imagine from the 30’s onwards (even at Royal Marriages). The ASB (and rites following) altered the order of the reasons for marriage with procreation “demoted” so I suppose in so doing it, in a way, very subtly altered the C of E understanding of marriage.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

Which adverts to the fact that it was not Cranmer as an individual but Cranmer as a member and functionary of his Tudor society–a society and culture now very distant and different from ours. History is not simply continuous; it is ordinal i.e. concerned with development (and decline). Romantic attachment to antique rhetorical flourish can mask obsolescence. Liturgies as rituals are only as viable as their ability to effectively connect with the current cultural understanding of the mythos to which they refer. Cult and myth must be in symbiosis within a cultural context–at once transforming and transformed by current realties… Read more »

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

There are 3 reasons given in the 1662 service. After saying what it is not for – to ‘satisfy man’s carnal lusts and appetites like brute beasts that have no understanding’ it tells us what it is for. It is for the procreation of children to be brought up to fear the Lord and to praise him. Secondly as a remedy against sin and avoid fornication so those who cannot control themselves can marry and remain undefiled members of the church, and thirdly for the ‘mutual society help and comfort’ each should have for the other in prosperity and adversity.… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

If you mean the Book of Common Prayer, which is one of the pillars of Anglican doctrine (in England at least), we have rethought quite a few of the things it lays down. The most obvious example is the ordination of women; but few now agree with the BCP that the Pope is an antichrist, that the doctrine of transubstantiation is ‘a vain and blasphemous fable’, that the sacrament must never be reserved, that at holy communion bread must be used rather than wafers, and so on. There may even be some churches which use cotton or polyester on their… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Are your “few now agree” examples from the 39 Articles of Faith?
Has anyone ever suggested updating them, or would that cause the Earth to be wrenched from its orbit?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

I think the only choices with the articles are booting them entirely or quietly ignoring them. Trying to revise them would stir up a hornet’s nest and the church doesn’t need another excuse to knock seven rhetorical bells out of each other.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

Articles, Preface, and Rubrics. They reflect the concerns of the 17th Century and the break with Rome, of course.

Actually I like the BCP, but it’s of its time and I don’t think we should consider ourselves forever limited to its writers’ point of view.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Lurid films and books have pasted over the word “anti-christ” a set of images and ideas that are obviously grotesque. There is no warrant for reading that back to the seventeenth century. The authors of the Book of Common Prayer were intelligent people just as we are. They used the word “anti christ” to mean a deceitful replica of Christ. Again, it is an injustice to our christian forebears to brush past the fact that whilst the current Pope and his immediate predecessors may be humble men, that is certainly not true of all those who have held that role.… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter
Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

Peter, I did say that ‘few now agree’ that the Pope is an antichrist – I’m aware that some still hold that view. Nor was I reading back modern film concepts into the BCP’s wording. I was simply giving it as one example of how ideas and doctrinal statements have changed over the centuries.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Bob Edmonds
1 month ago

The difficulty of all the Bible definitions of marriage is that they centre male headship and a subordinated wife. The Church of England has moved beyond that. Both liberals and traditionalists are in pick’n’mix territory: the difference is that liberals admit that we are

Last edited 1 month ago by Kate
Bob
Bob
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” To me this is Christian marriage, sacrificial, loving, wanting the best for your wife.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

Can a woman not want what is best for her husband? Or a man for his (same-sex) partner; a woman for her (same-sex) partner?
I echo Kate’s words: “The difficulty of all the Bible definitions of marriage is that they centre male headship and a subordinated wife.”

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Richard
1 month ago

Not all Bible definitions actually – and particularly not the passage being discussed here (Eph 4.21ff). It is a common mistake mistake to quote the verses addressed to husbands or wives without starting where the passage starts. ‘Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.’ (v21) Christian marriage is founded on reverent mutuality. Unless that is understood you do end up with very unhelpful assumptions about hierarchy in marriage.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 month ago

The wife did vow to obey her husband. No reciprocity was offered.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Richard
1 month ago

Richard. My question is how did a word more helpfully and commonly translated ‘submit’ become ‘obey’ in the traditional Christian marriage service? And even then why was the promise to ‘obey’ only required of the wife to her husband since Eph 5.21 plainly teaches that this submission (obedience) was to be to one another – mutual?

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

And I believe St. Paul or one of the other epistle writers stated that the husband is head of the family in the same way as Christ is head of the church. Since most Christians believe Christ is part of the Trinity and therefore has absolute divine authority, what does that make the husband?

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
1 month ago

It is good to read Martyn Percy on sparkling intellectual form. Challenging, perceptive and insightful. No sign of any impairment to his intellectual sharpness here! I hope that this reassures those in need of reassurance.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
1 month ago

Interesting timing re the Jayne Ozanne piece on conversion ‘therapy’. The bill outlawing conversion ‘therapy’ has just received royal assent in Canada. (link). It is now a crime in Canada to have anyone undergo such a process even if they give consent. So, soldier on UK. No doubt such largely religion/ideology based quackery will eventually be outlawed there as well. NPR news item here https://www.npr.org/2021/12/09/1062720266/canada-bans-conversion-therapy Canadian Justice Dept. bulletin here https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/pl/ct-tc/index.html “This bill is similar to former Bill C-6, which was adopted by the House of Commons in the previous Parliament, but with one important difference. It expands on the… Read more »

George Staelens
19 days ago

I am delighted in Emma Beddington’s article in The Guardian. Although, unlike her, I am a “religious” person, I agree with her. I do not like the carols which are full of sensibleries. Besides the scholarly carols with good theology, the best are those that are weird. And there are those that are folk theology, and they are not bad. As for “Bye bye lullay”, the first time I heard it, it was a black metal version; otherwise, I don’t think I would have liked it, yet now it is one of my favourite.

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