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Friday, 23 July 2010

Lies, damned lies and statistics

The Church Times today (23 July 2010) is carrying an article showing that “a poll by YouGov, which was not commissioned by any external organisation, found that 63 per cent of those questioned agreed that the Church of England should appoint women bishops, while ten per cent objected to the move. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they had no opinion either way, and three per cent did not know what they thought.”

In response to their own ‘survey’ the Church Times found that Synod did the right thing for traditionalists in the women bishops' votes. These figures will now be bandied around by the supporters of women’s ordination as justification for their stand, ignoring the fact that the historic faith shared by the vast majority of Christians throughout the world cannot be changed by committee simply to satisfy feminist whims.

Accepting that the YouGov survey was a representative sample, what did the sample really represent? It represents the views of people with scant, if any, knowledge of the real issues. The organisation Women and the Church (WATCH) have skillfully manipulated public opinion, including many church-goers, into believing that it is simply a matter of women’s rights. Having achieved their aim in principle, they sought to put the measure into practice while claiming that adequate provision will be made for those worshippers who, in common with most of Christendom, believe the innovation to be illegal, breaking our bond with the wider Catholic and Orthodox churches.

The proposed voluntary code of practice is another skillful device which, to those looking at the issue from the women's rights perspective, obscures the real issue that it cannot be acceptable to those who, in conscience, believe that what is being done is not the will of God but of man, or, in this case, of woman with the support of many men who have been hoodwinked into supporting the measure under false pretences.

In another YouGov poll, 67 per cent of people agreed that the burqa should be banned in Britain. Along with the Immigration Minister, many oppose such a ban on the grounds that we are a tolerant society and Muslims should be allowed freedom of expression. It has been admitted that for security reasons there are circumstances where the face would have to be uncovered leaving one to wonder if the only time it would be permitted in public would be on the public highway where it could conceal anyone or anything. As witnessed on Question Time last night, strong passions are aroused in such discussions, similar to those aroused over the possible restoration of the death penalty in 1998. In that debate, 99 per cent of those questioned said that the death penalty should be re-introduced according to “a staggering 99 per cent of the 95,000 [Sun] readers who responded to our You The Jury poll”. You can get almost any answer you want if you ask the ‘right’ question of the ‘right’ people.

So what of our so called ‘tolerant’ society when the very thing we pride ourselves on is used against us? Our cherished values are being undermined under the banner of political correctness but we deceive ourselves at our peril. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York failed in their attempt to provide a crumb of comfort for traditional orthodox Anglicans in their battle for survival. As one female activist shouted from the gallery on an earlier occasion, “We asked you for bread but you gave us a stone!” Short memories!

The intolerance of Islam towards Christians in Islamic countries is being echoed by intolerance of ‘Christians’ towards traditional Anglicans. So much so that Dr John Sentamu the Archbishop of York had to remind Synod members to behave like Christians. Tolerant Britain?

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