Anglican Samizdat

April 15, 2010

The latest danger to Christians wearing a cross

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 12:08 pm
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Apparently it’s the horror of being mistaken for a rabid fundamentalist.

Ruth Gledhill, who identifies herself as a liberal Christian, has become aware of this ever present danger:

I believe some of what Ruth says here about persecution is spot on: Christians in the West are more inconvenienced than persecuted – although we seem to be heading in the direction of persecution.

As for the rest: well, I think I am going to have to start wearing a cross so that I can have the pleasure of being easily identified as someone with extreme right-wing fundamentalist views.


March 29, 2010

A Muslim student doesn’t want ‘in the year of our Lord’ on his diploma

Filed under: Christianity,Islam — David Jenkins @ 8:23 pm
Tags: ,

And he has convinced a cadre of mindless dupes to go along with him:

A group of students at Trinity University is lobbying trustees to drop a reference to “Our Lord” on their diplomas, arguing it does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.

“A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes,” said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection. “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,’ it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.”

Qureshi, who is Muslim, has led the charge to tweak the wording, winning support from student government and a campus commencement committee. Trustees are expected to consider the students’ request at a May board meeting.

Other students and President Dennis Ahlburg have defended the wording, arguing that references to the school’s Presbyterian roots are appropriate and unobtrusive.

Founded by Presbyterians in 1869, Trinity has been governed by an independent board of trustees since 1969 but maintains a “covenant relationship” with the church.

“Any cultural reference, even if it is religious, our first instinct should not be to remove it, but to accept it and tolerate it,” said Brendan McNamara, president of the College Republicans.

McNamara pointed out that Trinity displays other signs of its Christian heritage, including a chapel on campus, a chaplain, Christmas vespers and a Bible etching on the Trinity seal.

Why, I wonder, did a Muslim student attend a college with such overt Christian symbolism in evidence if he is too fastidious to have “in the year of our Lord” on his diploma?

This could not possibly be an attempt to subvert Christianity in the interests of promoting Islam could it? Surely not.

March 11, 2010

The denaturing of evil

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 2:53 pm
Tags: , ,

The New Statesman would like to substitute “damaged” for “evil”:

Bulger killers were damaged, not evil.

Why can we not see Jon Venables and Robert Thompson as both victims and perpetrators?

Since the 1993 murder on Merseyside of the toddler James Bulger, the single most profound shift in our understanding of what creates disturbed children comes not from the criminal justice system, but from neuroscience. It is the graphic evidence for something many parents instinctively feel: that love is as vital to children as breathing. Brain scans conducted in the 1990s on children from Romanian orphanages deprived of almost all human interaction show a virtual black hole where the part of their brains dealing with managing emotions should be. The scans suggest the infant mind is not born but made, building itself like a muscle over the first two years of life as parental attention triggers physical responses in the brain.

In Samuel Butler’s Erehwon, the sick are treated as criminals and those who commit crimes as people in need of healing. For today’s elite, having largely abandoned the idea that the will exists independently of the brain, the latter of Butler’s ideas does not seem too far-fetched. Evil, for an atheist, is not rebellion against absolute moral law, it is simply something he doesn’t like, something that disrupts the harmony of the information processing capacity of his neurons. For example, in Christopher Hitchens’ case it is something that seeks to diminish his ego.

Most people, though, even though they may be adiabolists, instinctively understand that evil is real. In the case of Venables and Thompson, their killing of a helpless toddler was an act of evil for which they bear responsibility; to claim otherwise is to make them less than human – it assumes their freedom of choice had been “damaged” to such an extent by their parents that it no longer existed.

Nevertheless, there is still hope for Venables and Thompson: it is in acknowledging the evil they have done and in the saving power of Jesus Christ.

February 28, 2010

Homosexuals protest that the Roman Catholic Church is too Roman Catholic

Filed under: Christianity,homosexuality — David Jenkins @ 8:09 pm
Tags: ,

From the BBC:

Hundreds of Dutch activists have walked out of a Mass in protest at a Roman Catholic policy of denying communion to practising homosexuals.

On this occasion, the church, in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, had already decided not to serve communion, so the protesters left, shouting and singing.

The dispute began earlier this month when a priest in a nearby town refused communion to an openly gay man.

This dispute began during Dutch carnival celebrations earlier in February, when the man chosen to be carnival prince in nearby Reusel was refused communion because of his open homosexuality.

The refusal offended many in the local community.

Several hundred demonstrators, dressed in pink wigs and clothes, left the church in protest.

The man at the centre of the row has said he just wants equal treatment – if he is regarded as a sinner, he wants the priest to refuse communion to all other sinners too.

The man at the centre of the row, rather than come to the Lord’s table as a penitent sinner, wants to argue with God about his particular sinfulness which, presumably, he thinks is so special that it deserves to be affirmed rather than forgiven. That is equal treatment?

February 27, 2010

Rifqa Bary: a few more twists in the plot

Filed under: Christianity,Islam — David Jenkins @ 1:14 pm
Tags: ,

US law enforcement adroitly illustrates the Mr. Bumble Principle.

Read it all at American Thinker:

A girl flees from her home in fear for her life — and law enforcement goes after the people who helped her. That’s the situation in the Rifqa Bary case. The Columbus Dispatch reported this about Rifqa’s friend Brian Williams: “An Ohio minister accused of driving a teenage runaway to a bus station last year has retained a lawyer as police say they’re investigating whether anyone broke the law in helping the Christian convert leave home for Florida.” And why did she flee to Florida? Because, she says, when her devout Muslim father found out she had become a Christian, he said to her, “I will kill you.” And with Islam’s death penalty for apostates, she had to take that seriously. But Rifqa’s father is not in danger of being prosecuted. Brian Williams is.

Law enforcement, in a perverse twist of reality, continues persecuting the Christians in Ohio who helped a teenage apostate escape the death threat (in line with sharia law) made by her family. They are investigating any “criminal wrongdoing with anyone involved in getting her from one location to another.” How many other runaway cases are pursued in this way? How many other teenage girls in America have this attention paid to them by law enforcement? How many teenage girls who sell their bodies for sex and drugs for an adult pimp are pursued this way? And their pimps?

February 21, 2010

Leo Tolstoy and the Last Station

Filed under: Books,Christianity — David Jenkins @ 12:17 am

Leo Tolstoy has always fascinated me, largely, I suspect, because his entire life was riddled with contradictions. At the peak of his success as a novelist – War and Peace was one of the greatest novels of its time, perhaps of any time – he had to hide any rope that might be in his house for fear he might hang himself from despair. He was a count and wealthy landowner who believed simplicity was the secret to a happy life. He lived a dissolute life until he was 40, married, had 13 children and then tried to live as an ascetic: after having sex with his wife, he would pace around the bed tearing at his beard – not a recipe for a happy marriage. He was a consummate artist who eventually came to the conclusion, expounded in What is Art, that art should be simple and understandable by all; thus he had no use for any of Bach’s music other than the famous Air from the Orchestral Suites – he also had little use for his own earlier novels.

He and his wife, Sonya, were both avid diarists; he was always brutally honest in his diary – a tendency that led to more strife since both he and Sonya would surreptitiously read each other’s diaries.

At the end of his life he had collected a group of followers who came to be known as Tolstoyans. They attempted to live according to Jesus’ teachings, particularly the Sermon on the Mount, were pacifists and drove Sonya up the wall. Tolstoy’s version of Christianity was practical, demystified and stripped of the transcendent. For the most part it didn’t work. Vladmir Chertkov was one of Tolstoy’s closest confidants but unfortunately he was rather dour and sanctimonious with little of Tolstoy’s insight – imagine Gordon Brown as a monk. Another prominent Tolstoyan was Valentin Bulgakov, an innocent youth hired to be Tolstoy’s secretary. The Doukhobors were very much influenced by Tolstoy; they ended up in Canada, but the Tolstoyans were all swallowed up in the violence of the revolution.

In the end Tolstoy fled from his wife and his Tolstoyans and their squabbles to die on a bench in a railway station; perhaps a fitting end, since he finally managed to discard the trappings of his wealth and position.

In my youth I devoured all his novels, essays and then biographies; the last one I remember reading was a biography of his wife, Sonya by Anne Edwards.

Now there is a film about Tolstoy’s last days: The Last Station. Helen Mirren plays Sonya; she says of the film that it is, “A serious comedy about love and relationships”. Not very promising, but I shall probably go and see it anyway:

HELEN Mirren says playing Tolstoy’s wife in a new film was like a home-coming. She spoke to James Rampton about love, literature and getting in touch with her Russian roots.

A run-down railway station in an unremarkable east German town is an unlikely place to meet Dame Helen Mirren.

The fact we’re surrounded by ragged hay bales, an abandoned hand-cart and a pile of battered suitcases makes the encounter with one of Britain’s most elegant actresses all the more surreal, but Helen seems thoroughly at home.

We’re on the set of her latest movie, The Last Station, a moving story about the turbulent relationship between the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy (played by Christopher Plummer), and his spirited wife, Sofya (Helen).

The actress didn’t hesitate to take the part when she was sent the script, describing it as “one of the great women’s roles in film”. But another big draw was her Russian lineage.

As Tolstoy neared the end of his life, his wife fought tirelessly to hang on to his legacy for the sake of their children (some believed it should be bequeathed to the people of Russia) and as the film shows, it was a marriage born of passion, not placidity.

“She is a wonderfully tempestuous person and also very funny,” smiles Helen.

“She had given her life to Tolstoy’s work – she copied War and Peace out six times – think of the work! Sofya was simply fighting for what she is owed. It’s a fabulous role.”

And Helen isn’t the only one to think so. The Last Station has already won her the Best Actress Award at the Rome Film Festival and she recently received an Oscar nomination for the film.

February 16, 2010

How to hit the headlines with a sermon

Filed under: Anglican,Christianity — David Jenkins @ 3:10 pm
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Tell women they should submit to their husbands.

This goes so much against the Zeitgeist, is so politically incorrect and seems so outrageous to contemporary sensibilities that the Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Times all carried the story.

Something that was not mentioned in any of the articles is the fact that it was Christianity that elevated women from being the property of a man to being his equal, a child of God. From a review of Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History:

Stark produces impressive evidence that Christianity was deeply appealing to pagan women, for within the Christian sub-culture, women held a much higher status than did women throughout the Greco-Roman world. Women were recognized by Christianity as equal to men, children of God with the same superantural destiny; moreover, the Christian prohibition of polygamy, divorce, birth control, abortion and infanticide contributed to the well-being of women substantially, securing them dignity and rights within both Church and state. One effect of this higher status was to increase the number of Christian women, which in turn led to a superior fertility rate for Christians, another factor in the growth of the faith.

The papers also made little mention of the fact that in Ephesians 5, just after the “wives submit to your own husbands” verse, we find:  “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” While women submit to their husbands, husbands have to love their wives as Christ loved the church: in other words, a completely selfless love: the husband would die for his beloved.

Islam makes an interesting contrast: women are considered inferior to men and the Koran encourages a Muslim husband to beat his wife – an activity that is so common it ceases to be news:

When I first began to study the topic I did not realize that an Islamic marriage is not equivalent to a Christian marriage. Its rules, roles, and requirements are different. In a Christian marriage the husband is given the role as head of the household and the wife is expected to submit to the husband’s leadership. However, she is his equal in terms of social status; she is not inferior to him. In Islam the husband is also the head of the marriage, additionally he is his wife’s manager. Women are considered to be “in-between a slave and free man”. Slaves are not equal to their masters, rather they are subservient, managed, and controlled. Similarly, Muslim wives are inferior to their husbands and are managed and controlled.

As for, “If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” women have the advantage of being able to sleep through the sermon and ask their husbands about what happened later; husbands have to be wide-eyed in rapt attention.

February 3, 2010

Suicide of the West

Filed under: Christianity,The fall of the West — David Jenkins @ 3:13 pm
Tags: ,

The luminous Theodore Dalrymple:

The secularization of Europe is hardly a secret. Religion’s long, melancholy, withdrawing roar, as Matthew Arnold put it, is a roar no longer, and hardly even a murmur. In France, the oldest daughter of the Church, fewer than 5 percent of the population attend Mass regularly. The English national church has long been an object of derision, and the current Archbishop of Canterbury succeeds in uniting the substance and appearance of foolishness and unworldliness not with sanctity, but with sanctimony. In Wales, where nonconformist Christianity was the dominant cultural influence, most of the chapels have been converted into residences by interior decorators. Vast outpourings of pietistic writings molder on the shelves of secondhand booksellers, which themselves are closing down daily. In the Netherlands, some elements of the religious pillarization of the state remain: state-funded television channels are still allotted to Protestants and Catholics respectively. But while the shell exists, the substance is gone.

Perhaps it is Ireland that offers the most startling example of secularization because it was a late starter. Late starters, however, are often apt pupils; they catch up fast and even surpass their mentors. When I first went to Ireland, the priest was a god among men; people stood aside to let him pass. No respectable family did not count a nun among its members. As for the Archbishop of Dublin, his word was law; the politicians might propose, but he disposed.

In the historical bat of an eyelid, all that has gone, beyond any hope (or fear) of restoration. It would hardly be too much to say that the Church is now reviled in Ireland. I suspect that if you performed a word-association test using the word “priest,” it would more often than not evoke a response of “pedophile,” “child abuser,” or (at best) “hypocrite.”

The whole article is well worth reading, but I highlighted the above because it provides an outsider’s assessment – Dalrymple is an agnostic – of the state of the institutional church. This is not mere Dawkinesque arrogance and bluster, but considered insight from one of our culture’s keenest observers.

To the outsider, the Anglican church is the home of buffoonery with a leader to suit, and the Catholic church, the home of pederasty. Is it any wonder that neither one can garner much respect amongst unbelievers.

January 22, 2010

Who Created the Creator?

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 5:07 pm
Tags: ,

Logic from a master, John Lennox:

January 15, 2010

Haiti: an act of Devil

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 5:12 pm

It seems to me that there are three major revelations that are accessible to man. They are:

God exists; Jesus is God; the Devil exists.

The third is a sticking point for many; this is odd, since evidence for the Devil’s existence is both prolific and conspicuous. Theodore Dalrymple, oddly enough a non-believer  says it this way:

The news from Haiti is always terrible; when there is no Haitian news, it does not so much suggest that the news is good as that the long, slow catastrophe that is Haitian history is merely continuing as usual. But this week’s apocalyptic earthquake makes Haiti’s recent past seem almost like a golden age.

No one who has been to Haiti ever loses his interest in the country. It is one of those places that, because of its history, because of its culture, because of its torments, captures the imagination and never lets it go. You respond to it not with tough, but appalled love. The American writer, Herbert Gold, summarized the country in the title of his wonderful memoir of his experiences there: The Best Nightmare on Earth.

By now it is a commonplace, a piece of received wisdom in every country, that the devastating consequences of the Haitian earthquake are not those of a natural disaster alone, but of a natural event interacting with extreme poverty. The causes of the poverty itself are a matter of deep ideological contention. What is beyond dispute is that so many buildings collapsed because they were so flimsily constructed in the first place.

That Haiti was a slow-moving disaster even before the earthquake was visible—obvious, in fact—from a height of 35,000 feet. When you flew from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince, the border was as clearly visible as on any map, a straight line drawn on the earth’s surface: on the Dominican side, verdant, on the Haitian side, brown, bare as a desert. It’s difficult to imagine now, but Haiti was once deeply forested; but 98 percent of the tree cover is gone, leaving eroded hillsides with gullies down which the rain torrentially washes whatever soil is left.

Perhaps this explains why one of the themes of Haitian naïve painting (one of the glories of Haitian culture) is lush forests inhabited by sleek African animals and exotic birds. The inheritance spent, the painters indulge in reverie, romanticizing the past, retreating into what Jung would call the collective unconscious. Writers have responded differently. The increasing desperation of Haiti is traceable in its twentieth-century literature. Gone is the gentle satire, the bourgeois refinement and gentility of the works of Fernand Hibbert; the situation calls for holy rage, savage denunciation.

A Nigerian journalist once said of his country, “No known system of government works in Nigeria.” This is even truer of Haiti. It’s often claimed that Haiti’s desperate situation is the consequence of outside interference—principally American, of course—plus recurrent, often bizarre, dictatorship. But Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, has suffered similar disadvantages; yet it prospers. Moreover, descriptions of Haiti after the American occupation of 1915 make clear that the country received many benefits from it, whatever the attendant humiliations. As with other forms of external help, however, the occupation’s benefits proved temporary and ultimately fruitless.

Nor does voluntary assistance seem to do much better. It’s estimated that 10,000 voluntary organizations operate in Haiti—one for every 800 residents—but the effect, globally speaking, has been minimal, whatever good work each organization does individually. The whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Disaster relief is, of course, something completely different. No one can remain unmoved by the pictures of Port-au-Prince after the earthquake (the situation outside the capital remains unknown, but one can imagine). Everything that can be done should be done: the financial resources necessary are, comparatively speaking, tiny.

But because of the very problems that contributed so much to the disaster in the first place—appalling infrastructure, absent administration—such relief will be difficult to provide efficiently, without the absurdities of supplies accumulating where they are not useful, and not reaching the places where they’re desperately needed. Terrible as the Haitian army was, and often harmful as its role was, its deliberate and total dissolution in 1994 may now be a severe handicap, an unintended consequence of a good intention.

And after the immediate crisis has passed, what? International administration? Restoration of national sovereignty under a government incapable of governing? More aid that results in little but corruption and infighting? Laissez-faire? The mind reels.

January 13, 2010

Pat Robertson in trouble again

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 11:23 pm

This time, because on his TV show he tells us that Haiti is cursed due to a pact they made with the devil.

This hasn’t been particularly popular either in the mainstream media, blog-land or, in fact, anywhere at all. The National Post, for example, call the remarks “distasteful comments”, and according to Keith Olberman, Robertson has revealed himself to be the devil.

Robertson’s organisation, CBN has attempted to settle things down by pointing out:

Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them. His humanitarian arm has been working to help thousands of people in Haiti over the last year, and they are currently launching a major relief and recovery effort to help the victims of this disaster. They have sent a shipment of millions of dollars worth of medications that is now in Haiti, and their disaster team leaders are expected to arrive tomorrow and begin operations to ease the suffering.

And has links to Operation Blessing which is collecting for disaster relief.

The almost universal – by Christians and non-Christians – condemnation of Robertson’s comments, seems to be fuelled by the following undeclared ideas:

  1. The devil doesn’t exist; Robertson is a fool to believe he does, let alone that a nation could make a pact with him.
  2. People are not responsible for their own condition; Robertson is implying it’s the fault of the people of Haiti and they only have themselves – or their ancestors – to blame.
  3. Even if Haiti did make a pact with the devil, God would not punish them because even if the devil exists, God’s wrath doesn’t. God would also not allow the devil to punish them.
  4. Spiritual forces are not at work in the world; an apparent evil that befalls a nation is the result of  a natural accident (which means it isn’t evil, of course, just – accidental).

None of the above points are particularly consistent with a Christian view of reality, so they should not evoke an outpouring of high-minded indignation from Christians. For materialists, atheists and Darwinians, a disaster killing hundreds of thousands of people is nature culling excess numbers of a species that has over-reproduced – neither good nor evil, but possibly beneficial to the species in the long run.

So why is everyone so upset at Robertson? Perhaps because he was tactless.

December 15, 2009

Psychological evaluation for an 8 year old Christian

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 11:23 am

My 5 year-old granddaughter, who has a far clearer understanding of the gospel than Fred Hiltz – admittedly not a surprising achievement – produced a painting for my inspection a few months back. Most of it was red and in a corner was a small cross. “That”, she said proudly pointing to the sea of red, “is the blood of God”. We pinned it on the fridge.

A school in Taunton takes a dim view of this sort of thing:

A Taunton father is outraged after his 8-year-old son was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological evaluation after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The father said he got a call earlier this month from Maxham Elementary School informing him that his son, a second-grade student, had created a violent drawing. The image in question depicted a crucified Jesus with Xs covering his eyes to signify that he had died on the cross. The boy wrote his name above the cross.

h/t: SF

December 13, 2009

Whack a Banker

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 4:53 pm

Bankers have become as unpopular as tax-collectors. Barack Obama doesn’t like them:

“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,” Mr. Obama said in an interview to be broadcast on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program Sunday evening, according to excerpts made available ahead of the program.

Relations between the banking industry and the White House began frosty and have deteriorated in recent weeks, with large banks lobbying against legislation that would toughen financial-market regulations and administration officials frustrated by some banks’ continued payment of high bonuses and their reluctance to lend.

Mr. Obama reiterated that frustration in the interview, noting that some banks have continued to award bonuses and restrict lending while many Americans struggle with unemployment. “Some people on Wall Street still don’t get it,” he said.

Rowan Williams really doesn’t like them:

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams: bankers have failed to repent.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked the bonus culture of the City, condemning the failure of bankers to repent for their excesses.

Dr Rowan Williams, who has consistently taken a left-of-centre line on economic issues, said that the Government should have acted to cap bonuses. He warned that the gap between rich and poor would lead to an increasingly “dysfunctional” society.

Dr Williams said: “There hasn’t been a feeling of closure about what happened last year. There hasn’t been what I would, as a Christian, call repentance. We haven’t heard people saying ‘well actually, no, we got it wrong and the whole fundamental principle on which we worked was unreal, empty’.”

And now the British public has a chance to whack a banker:Add an Image

An arcade game that allows people to vent their anger at bankers has proved so popular the owner keeps having to replace worn out mallets.

Inventor Tim Hunkin introduced “Whack a Banker”, which is based on the older “Whack a Mole” game, at his arcade on Southwold pier in Suffolk.

Instead of players hitting pop-up moles with a mallet, within a set time, the target is pop-up bald figures.

Mr Hunkin said the game was “proving very popular”.

I wonder what Jesus thinks about bankers? Perhaps the same as he thought about the famous tax-collecor, Zacchaeus:

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:1ff

As liberal Christians love to point out: Jesus sides with the marginalised and downtrodden.

November 29, 2009

Interfaith dialogue for wets

Filed under: Christianity,Islam — David Jenkins @ 4:17 pm
Tags: ,

Interfaith dialogue: the curse of our time.

NASHVILLE — It sounds like the start of a joke: a rabbi, a minister and a Muslim sheik walk into a restaurant.

But there they were, Rabbi Ted Falcon, the Rev. Don Mackenzie and Sheik Jamal Rahman, walking into an Indian restaurant, and afterward a Presbyterian church. The sanctuary was full of 250 people who came to hear them talk about how they had wrestled with their religious differences and emerged as friends.

They call themselves the “interfaith amigos.” And while they do sometimes seem more like a stand-up comedy team than a trio of clergymen, they know they have a serious burden in making a case for interfaith understanding in a country reeling after a Muslim Army officer at Fort Hood, Tex., was charged with opening fire on his fellow soldiers, killing 13.

The room then grew quiet as each stood and recited what he regarded as the “untruths” in his own faith. The minister said that one “untruth” for him was that “Christianity is the only way to God.” The rabbi said for him it was the notion of Jews as “the chosen people.” And the sheik said for him it was the “sword verses” in the Koran, like “kill the unbeliever.”

“It is a verse taken out of context,” Sheik Rahman said, pointing out that the previous verse says that God has no love for aggressors. “But we have to acknowledge that ‘kill the unbelievers’ is an awkward verse,’ ” the sheik said as the crowd laughed. “Some verses are literal, some are metaphorical, but the Koran doesn’t say which is which.”

Here’s the problem: when Christians take the bible at face value (Rev. Don Mackenzie doesn’t) they run around trying to convert people because they believe that Christ is the only way to God the Father (Rev. Don Mackenzie is embarrassed by this). When Muslims take the Koran at face value they run around killing non-Muslims. Notice any difference?

November 25, 2009

And did those feet in ancient time

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 11:58 am

William Blake posed the question and a new film claims to have the answer:

Jesus may have visited Glastonbury with his uncle, according to new film.

A new film suggests that Jesus may have come to Britain, as described in the hymn Jerusalem, its director said today.

The documentary, And Did Those Feet, explores the story behind the legend which survives in the hymn, for which William Blake wrote the words.

The legend claims Jesus visited several places in the West Country, such as the Roseland peninsula and Glastonbury, with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathaea.

It should be self-evident that if Jesus had come to the British Isles, the last place he would have visited would have been Glastonbury: he would have gone to Wales.


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