You are here . on the pale blue dot

Please restrict comments for publication to observations on the issue, not on third parties. Anonymous comments are rejected.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Navel gazing v. the real plight of women


Boko Haram 'has abducted, raped and enslaved 2,000 women in reign of terror'


One year ago today over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram. Dreadful as that event was, there has been much less publicity on the plight of around 800,000 children who have been forced to flee their homes. According to reports from UNICEF "more than 1.5 million people have fled their homes due to the violence." Muslim women often bear the brunt of this inhumanity along with non-Muslims.

Meanwhile at the Church in Wales' meeting of the Barry Morgan Appreciation Society Governing Body this week a large chunk of the Agenda will be taken up by the representation (plight!) of women in the Church in Wales resulting in the Motion - 

"That the Governing Body:
receive and welcome the Report of the Working Group on Representation of Women in the Church in Wales dated April 2015 and endorse the recommendations therein;
accept that the Church in Wales has not achieved in the last seven years the expected cultural change, the appointment of more women into senior posts and the greater involvement of women in Church decision making;
recognise that the equality agenda is the responsibility of the whole Church;
commend the Report to the Province, dioceses, deaneries and parishes for study and appropriate action;
request the Standing Committee to allocate the recommendations in the Report to the appropriate bodies for action;
request the Standing Committee to report back on progress in implementing the recommendations within 3 years."

The navel gazing is so intense that the Church in Wales is blind to the fact that Provinces which have adopted the feminist agenda are going downhill fast. Highlighted in the Report is this gem: "the Church was best placed to fulfil its mission when all of its members are enabled to fully acknowledge their gifts and duties and to exercise their unique talents and vocations as individuals", ie, jobs for the girls. It certainly does not apply to members who are out of favour because they seek to fulfil the mission of the universal Church rather than a self-indulgent separatist minority which claims membership of the Holy Catholic Church as they tear her apart. If they genuinely wished to "recognise that the equality agenda is the responsibility of the whole Church" [my emphasis], they would take the universal view.

Agendum 12 introduces "Evangelism - Witnessing to Good News in Wales and 2020":
"The essential vision behind the Church in Wales review of 2012 was that Church can be the bearer of good news to the world". Do they realise that there is a world beyond Offa's Dyke?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter reflections


"One supermarket chain buyer apparently asked the company
 that supplies the eggs what Easter had to do with the Church
"

The caption under the cross is a quote from an article by Caroline Wyatt, the BBC's new religious affairs correspondent in which she poses the question: "Is Easter still about religion for most?" She writes: "A large, feathery Easter egg stands in the middle of a small street in a shopping area in north London.
Beneath it is an Easter message: 'This egg is to remind people to shop at independent retailers'.
I had thought that it might be to remind people of the other message of Easter - the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, for example, which churches across the country will be marking on Sunday.

... For many years now, leading church figures have bemoaned the fact that in a country that is still officially Christian, with almost 60% of people identifying themselves as such in the 2011 census (although far fewer actually attend church services, or believe in God), the religious message of Easter has been drowned out by the secular festival of chocolate and shopping being celebrated at supermarkets across the country." To which I might add relevance to society.

I was more encouraged by the BBC's headline coverage of Caroline Wyatt's news report: "Easter services to denounce killing of Christians" or, as The Australian put it: Holy Thursday massacre prompts Easter reflections.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter message paid tribute to persecuted Christians while the Pope prayed for "killed Kenyan students [and] decries persecution". All credit then to Metropolitan Hilarion who said it as it is: "There is the genocide of Christians in the Middle East".

Muslims are not exempt if they don't toe the line. Just two of the latest examples here and here. Despite all the carnage and misery it has been reported that "Islam is set to rival Christianity for global adherence by 2050". This is not a time to cast doubt on the Resurrection. We are an Easter people "and if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith".

Anglicans in particular have paid a heavy price for being more 'relevant to society' than to the faith of the Church, few more so than in the Church in Wales where their Archbishop parodied Je suis Charlie when when he claimed "Nous sommes Jesus" in his Chrism Mass sermon. He then delivered his Easter message claiming: "while we may not be able to prove the existence of God or that Christ rose from the dead, Resurrection moments are part of daily life." Given his record that is taken to mean softening up his flock to accept same-sex marriage in the same way that he manipulated the Governing Body to accept women bishops before reneging on promises made to members of his flock who remain faithful to the Apostolic faith. His priorities are wrong.

Humanity is facing a grave crisis in the face of creeping Islamisation but there is a choice. Murder, rape and servitude under Islam or Christian faith, hope and charity. This is not a time to cast doubt on the Resurrection. It is a time for conversion

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

And then there were three...


Amidst the back slapping, 'shock', 'surprise', 'delight', 'humbling', etc, etc, there must be a feeling among some of the male clergy who chose career over conscience that the game is up - if you're not a woman, forget it. They will experience the feeling of being sidelined as 'traditionalists' have been sidelined, although less in England than in Wales I should add in fairness.

The third woman bishop to be appointed will take her seat in the Lords but God forbid that she were the only woman bishop so she will need company in case she needs someone to hold the door when she goes to the loo. Then there is the more serious question of female representation. It will not matter one jot if better qualified males are passed over in the name of 'equality'.

Dave knows a thing or two about equality, or he thinks he does from his twit following the appointment of the Rev Libby Lane: "An historic appointment and an important day for equality"! Historic yes, another nail in the coffin of the Anglican Church in Great Britain but secular notions of equality are misplaced in the Church.

What the Church of England has become was exemplified by the ridiculous tourism enhancing event that the 're-burial' of the bones King Richard III became. He was not an Anglican. A Rosary was placed in his coffin as a token of his Catholicism. Carving out a new career for herself having done more than most to wreck the Church of England Christina Rees represented the CofE in the Channel 4 commentary box for the occasion. Asked about the Rosary she said that Anglicans do not use the Rosary. I think she meant feminists but an understandable mistake since the two have become synonymous.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

God bless MSF



"We are now a year into the deadliest Ebola outbreak the world
has ever seen, with at least 24,000 people infected and more than
10,000 deaths. Ebola has destroyed lives and families, left deep
scars, and ripped at the social and economic fabric of Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone."

One of the ironies of this life is that when tragedy strikes, people unite to help their fellow human beings. Natural disasters bring out the best in people. In the front rank you will always find MSF. Their courageous work in fighting the Ebola virus, putting their own lives at risk for others is an example that shames many of us. Not least those poor deluded souls who believe that they will earn their place in heaven by slaughtering others. 

If you wish to show your appreciation you can thank MSF here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Clerical comeuppance




In 1517 the selling of indulgences by clergy was condemned by Martin Luther. In 2015 a woman named Farkhunda protested to a local Mullah about the selling of "fake charms" and "promises written on paper" to women who wanted babies or for other health issues, arguing in favour of a "more orthodox, proper Islamic view".

The Mullah shouted that the woman was "burning the Quran" as he called men to his 'shrine' for assistance. Farkhunda was beaten to death before her body was taken to the river to be burned. These acts so horrified Afghan women that they have taken a stand. But the crowd at the funeral still shouted "Allahu Akbar" as they demand the murderers be brought to justice. God must be great by definition but if faith is not based on love it is worthless and leads to corruption.

The Mullah deserves his comeuppance, as do all clerics who ply their trade based on fear rather than on their calling. Christianity has taken some hard knocks in response to the abuse of clerical power. The latest episode in Afghanistan should serve to demonstrate that clerics in Islam who should know better may also be seeking only to serve themselves rather than the one they claim to represent.

On this day, 25 March, Christians celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, God's role model for women. Let us hope that the women of Afghanistan and throughout the whole Muslim world see the Light, releasing them from the misery of their subjugation.

Update
Listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali who calls for change within Islam here.
and
'Why Islam Needs a Reformation' here.