Religion in the twenty-first century? 7

This video, published in February 2013, is a film of a debate held by the Cambridge Union on the proposition: “This House believes religion has no place in the twenty-first century”. (Organized religion only is meant.)

It is over an hour and a half long. Is it worth watching?

We think it’s worth hearing what Richard Dawkins has to say in support of the motion. And also for what another eloquent atheist says – Douglas Murray, who surprisingly opposes it, but for quite different reasons from those of the other two opponents. They are a pair of downright villains: the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who campaigned for sharia to be introduced into Britain; and his friend Tariq Ramadan of the Muslim Brotherhood. You’ll only get an earful of pious poppycock from each of them.

There is no argument over theology. No one mentions the wars of religion raging in the Middle East.

We came to one certain conclusion: religion may linger on a while yet, but Oh, it will be dull!


Posted under Religion general, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 17, 2014

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Christian evil 3

The most evil man in the universe possibly

The caption to the picture of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the abominable Rowan Willams, is by James Delingpole. In a clear-sighted article in the Telegraph, he writes:

It seems to me that behind that wild, comedy-wizard beard and those gnomic, overintellectual pronouncements and … platitudes lurks a malign spirit of genuinely evil purpose and influence. And I’m not the only one to have noticed.

Martin Durkin … in a characteristically brilliant essay titled Evil Dressed Up As Good … notes the paradox of the modern Church: that while expressing much concern for … the plight of the poor …, it persistently champions policies guaranteed to make the poor poorer … 

The Archbishop of Canterbury is writing a book in which he lambasts the government for shrinking the State. In its current ‘shrunken’ form, the state accounts for around half of the UK economy. This is evidently sinful. It should be bigger, presumably like the economies of the former communist countries of Eastern Europe. Anglicanism has become extremely political. The Archbishop’s Council has just reprimanded the government for vetoing changes to the EU treaty last December and warned them not to think of leaving the EU. In his speech at the St. Paul’s service to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the Archbishop cursed bankers and said we ought to look after the environment and be less greedy.

It is not just any old politics the church embraces. It is the big State, high tax, green, protectionist, Keynesian politics of the left and fascist right. But as many people have pointed out, once the sanctimonious veneer is stripped away, these polices have been shown not to be in the interests of ordinary people. Socialism promised to liberate and enrich the masses, but it was discovered long ago that it did the exact opposite. Indeed so many of the bishops’ rants seem to be directed against the interests of the world’s poorest. The E.U. (so beloved of the bishops) is a protectionist club which, it is well known, has caused untold misery to African and Asian farmers, and has also raised the cost of food enormously for everyone in Europe (needless to say, the poorest are hardest hit). The green bandwagon, onto which the bishops have jumped with such fervour, is clearly directed against the world’s poorest people on so many fronts – preventing them from using DDT to keep malaria at bay, preventing them from using inorganic fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides and GM crops in order to grow more food, preventing them from using the cheapest forms of electrical generation in order to join the modern world, and so on.

Anyone with eyes to see realises that we’re on the edge of a precipice here. …

Friends, allies: we have our work cut out. Victory is by no means certain. But the consequences of failure are unthinkable.

We could suggest a few other persons who have at least equal claim with the Achbishop to the Universal Gold-Medal Championship of Evil, but we certainly accept that he’s well qualified to compete.

Intellectuals and the law 1

“If I can’t be profound, at least I can be unintelligible.”

That has been the guiding principle of intellectuals on the left, those doughty champions of the masses – note well the crowds of them in Western universities – for at least a hundred years.

Here’s an example of it being followed, not by an academic but a religious obscurantist:

The rule of law is thus not the enshrining of priority for the universal/abstract dimension of social existence but the establishing of a space accessible to everyone in which it is possible to affirm and defend a commitment to human dignity as such, independent of membership in any specific human community or tradition, so that when specific communities or traditions are in danger of claiming finality for their own boundaries of practice and understanding, they are reminded that they have to come to terms with the actuality of human diversity – and that the only way of doing this is to acknowledge the category of ‘human dignity as such’ – a non-negotiable assumption that each agent (with his or her historical and social affiliations) could be expected to have a voice in the shaping of some common project for the well-being and order of a human group.

Thus spake Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, in a recent lecture.

And here, by way of contrast, is a quotation from a genuinely profound thinker, Thomas Sowell. The passage comes from his new book, Intellectuals and Society, and is as clear as a polished pane of glass:

There can be no dependable framework of law where judges are free to impose as law their own individual notions of what is fair, compassionate or in accord with social justice.

We found the whole book a pleasure to read.

Posted under Commentary, Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 18, 2010

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‘An Archbishop of Canterbury Tale’ 0

From Iowahawk: 

With apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer



1  Whan in Februar, withe hise global warmynge

2  Midst unseasonabyl rain and stormynge

3  Gaia in hyr heat encourages

4  Englande folke to goon pilgrimages.

5  Frome everiches farme and shire

6  Frome London Towne and Lancanshire

7  The pilgryms toward Canterbury wended

8  Wyth fyve weke holiday leave extended

9  In hybryd Prius and Subaru

10  Off the Boughton Bypasse, east on M2.

11  Fouer and Twyntie theye came to seke

12  The Arche-Bishop, wyse and meke

13  Labouryte and hippye, Gaye and Greene

14  Anti-warre and libertyne

15  All sondry folke urbayne and progressyve

16  Vexed by Musselmans aggressyve.

17  Hie and thither to the Arche-Bishop’s manse

18  The pilgryms ryde and fynde perchance

19  The hooly Bishop takynge tea

20  Whilste watching himselfe on BBC.

21  Heere was a hooly manne of peace

22  Withe bearyd of snow and wyld brows of fleece

23  Whilhom stoode athwart the Bush crusades

24   Withe peace march papier-mache paraydes.

25  Sayeth the pilgryms to Bishop Rowan,

26  “Father, we do not like howe thynges are goin’.

27  You know we are as Lefte as thee,

28  But of layte have beyn chaunced to see

29  From Edinburgh to London-towne

30  The Musslemans in burnoose gowne

31  Who beat theyr ownselfs with theyr knyves

32  Than goon home and beat theyr wyves

33  And slaye theyr daughtyrs in honour killlynge

34  Howe do we stoppe the bloode fromme spillynge?”

35  The Bishop sipped upon hys tea

36  And sayed, “an open mind must we

37  Keep, for know thee well the Mussel-man

38  Has hys own laws for hys own clan

39  So question not hys Muslim reason

40  And presaerve ye well social cohesion.”

41  Sayth the libertine, “’tis well and goode

42  But sharia goes now where nae it should;

43  I liketh bigge buttes and I cannot lye,

44  You othere faelows can’t denye,

45  But the council closed my wenching pub,

46  To please the Imams, aye thaere’s the rub.”

47  Sayeth the Bishop, strokynge his chin,

48  “To the Mosque-man, sexe is sinne

49  So as to staye in his goode-graces

50  Cover well thy wenches’ faces

51  And abstain ye Chavs from ribaldry

52  Welcome him to our communitie.” 

53  “But Father Williams,” sayed the Gaye-manne 

54  “Though I am but a layman

55  The Mussleman youthes hath smyte me so

56  Whan on streets I saunter wyth my beau.”

57  Sayed the Bishop in a curt replye

58  “I am as toolrant as anye oothere guy,

59  But if Mussleman law sayes no packynge fudge,

60  Really nowe, who are we to judge?”

61  Then bespake the Po-Mo artist,

62  “My last skulptyure was hailed as smartest

63  Bye sondry criticks at the Tate

64  Whom called it genius, brillyant, greate

65  A Jesus skulpted out of dunge

66  Earned four starres in the Guardian;

67  But now the same schtick withe Mo-ha-med

68  Has earned a bountye on my hed.”

69  Sayed the Bishop, “that’s quyte impressyve

70  To crafte a Jesus so transgressyve

71  But to do so with the Muslim Prophet

72  Doomed thy neck to lose whats off it.

73  Thou should have showen mor chivalrie

74  In committynge such a blasphemie.”

75  And so it went, the pilgryms all

76  Complaynynge of the Muslim thrall;

77  To eaches same the Bishop lectured

78  About the cultur fabrick textured

79  With rainbow threyds from everie nation

80  With rainbow laws for all situations.

81  “But Father Rowan, we bathyr nae one

82  We onlye want to hav our funne!”

83  “But the Musselman is sure to see

84  Thy funne as Western hegemony.

85   ‘Tis not Cristian for Cristians to cause

86  The Moor to live by Cristendom’s laws

87  Whan he has hise sovereyn culture

88  Crist bade us put ours in sepulture.

89  To be divyne we must first be diverse

90  So cheer thee well, thynges could be wors

91  Sharia is Englishe as tea and scones,

92  So everybody muste get stoned.”

93  The pilgryms shuffled for the door

94  To face the rule of the Moor;

95  Poets, Professors, Starbucks workers

96  Donning turbans, veils and burqqas.

97  As they face theyr fynal curtan

98  Of Englande folk, one thynge is certan:

99  Dying by theyr own thousande cuts,

100  The Englande folk are folking nuts.