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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Thought for Lent (3)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bishop of Manchester praises tradition in the church!

Contrary to reports in the MailOnline and elsewhere, Manchester Cathedral's Spirit of Life Festival on 2 May will not be featuring tarot card readers and crystal healers although there will be a fire-breathing vicar. - There's a novelty these days!

It seems that the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, is now happy to celebrate spirituality and tradition. According to his Cathedral website there will be "workshops and stalls covering poetry, Franciscan spirituality, arts and crafts, healing, icons, angels, meditation, personality profiling, music and blessings, labyrinths, dream interpretation, Christian symbolism of gem stones and Celtic saints, prayer bead making, choral evensong, foot and hand massage, Taize chants and, finally, fire breathing. - All of these events will aim to convey something of the Christ we follow as Christian people."

 When it comes to traditional worship however, the bishop sat on the fence. It was left to the Archbishops to beg for tolerance to allow traditionalists freedom of worship in the manner shared by fellow Orthodox and Catholic Christians throughout the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. How the new Synod will see things remains to be seen but let's hope dioceses will recognise that the drift from traditional worship is killing the Anglican Church.

His Lordship works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform!

Jubilee Debt Campaign: Vulture Culture Update

Some good news for a change. 

I previously blogged here and here on
 Vulture Funds which profiteer by buying up the debts of heavily indebted poor countries cheaply then seek to recover the full amounts. 

In today's email:

Vulture Funds - we've won

Dear supporter,

We’re writing with good news: the Government has announced that it’s going to make the Vulture Funds law permanent.

Many of you campaigned very hard to get this law passed in literally the last few minutes before the election last year. It was a tribute to people power – but there was a danger it would expire in June after a ‘sunset clause’ was added at the last minute.

Today’s news means that profiteering companies will never again be able to chase massive profits from old debts in British courts – at least from 40 of the world’s most impoverished countries.

The law is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and it has attracted cross-party support. It has already saved the west African country of Liberia $40 million, after it was pursued by two vulture funds.

Nevertheless, the vulture fund threat is not over. A US vulture fund, FG Hemisphere, is currently suing the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second poorest country in the world, for $100 million through the Jersey courts. Jersey - a UK Overseas Territory - gets to pick and choose which UK laws it passes, and it hasn’t passed this one as yet.

Meanwhile, vultures are still free to swoop in other major legal centres like the United States – but our sister organisation Jubilee USA is hoping to change that.
If you’re inspired to make a donation towards our continuing campaigns today, we would massively appreciate your support. Even small donations can make a big difference to an organisation like ours.
Congratulations on this victory - and on to the next one!

Best wishes,
Jonathan Stevenson
Jubilee Debt Campaign

PS. If you’ve missed bits of the campaign, or you just want to relive the twists and turns, we’ve updated our vultures campaign timeline with today’s news.

Contact details

Jubilee Debt Campaign
The Grayston Centre
28 Charles Square
N1 6HT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7324 4722
Fax: +44 (0)20 7324 4723
Email - for general enquiries and materials requests:

Saturday, 26 March 2011

"We are all in this together" (13)

King Edward VII's Hospital (Private)

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (NHS)

Not everyone is impressed with Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley 's plans for "improvements" in the NHS. 
[Warning: Those of a sensitive nature may be offended by some of the language used in the video link.]

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Religion to become 'extinct'

The 2011 census forms are due for completion on 27 March. Included is the voluntary question, 'What is your religion?' giving eight options including 'No religion' and 'Any other.....'. In addition to English and Welsh forms, translations are available in 56 languages which should lead to some interesting answers. In 2001 'Jedi' was the talking point but this time the emphasis is on persuading people with no religious belief to indicate 'No religion' rather than ignore the question. 

To coincide with the census, a poll commissioned by the British Humanist Association suggests that two-thirds of Britons are not religious. This comes on top of another report that suggests religion may become extinct in nine nations.

The 'nine nations' referred to were Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland, countries in which the census queried religious affiliation. The implication that Christianity is on the wane appears to be confirmed. For Humanists that may be welcome news but the religious vacuum increases the risk of cultural jihad.

The BBC has been doing its best to achieve the extinction of Christianity for some time. After the appointment of a Muslim as Head of Religion and Ethics, previously held by an agnostic, we are offered programmes such as the "Bible's buried secrets" presented by a senior lecturer from the Islam indebted Exeter University pondering such questions as the existence of King David and whether God had a wife. Given that Islam regards Jews and Christians as inferior and little better than heathens perhaps such propaganda is to be expected:

The treatment of non-Muslims is also carefully
spelled out in classical Islamic teaching. Pagans are
to be fought until they convert to Islam, but Jews
and Christians (known as the People of the Book)
are permitted to practise their faith within the
Islamic state. This is however conditional on them
conforming to various demeaning regulations
designed to reinforce their lowly dhimma status in
comparison with Muslims. One particular condition
imposed on them was the payment of a special
poll-tax called the jizya. Like women, they receive
less compensation and their testimony carries less
weight than that of a Muslim man.

'What is Islam' The Barnabas Fund

Some religions may become extinct but that only increases the danger of Islamisation, then where will we be!  

Monday, 21 March 2011

Thomas Cranmer 1489 - 1556

My thanks to the Cranmer Blog for this beautiful video link on the anniversary of Thomas Cranmer's martyrdom

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011

A thought for Lent

"The common practice today is to measure the Bible against the so-called modern worldview, whose fundamental dogma is that God cannot act in history - that everything to do with God is to be relegated to the domain of subjectivity. And so the Bible no longer speaks of God, the living God; no, we alone speak and decide what God can do and what we will and should do. And the Antichrist, with an air of scholarly excellence, tells us that any exegesis that reads the Bible from the perspective of faith in the living God, in order to listen to what God has to say, is fundamentalism; he wants to convince us that only his kind of exegesis, the supposedly purely scientific kind, in which God says nothing and has nothing to say, is able to keep abreast of the times."
Pope Benedict XVI

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Into Lent

For many Christians Lent begins with the sign of the cross, in ashes, generally on the forehead. Less fortunate Christians around the world from Ethiopia to the Philippines have ashes all around them, their churches burned to the ground often with mosques built on the hallowed ground. There is a good review of the situation here.

I reflected on the horrors being inflicted on fellow Christians after the penitential rite when the celebrant read the commandment:

I am the Lord your God:
You shall have no other gods but me.
You shall love the Lord your God
With all you heart,
With all your soul,
With all your mind,
And with all your strength.

How can the perpetrators of these crimes believe in one God, the God of Abraham? There is a useful explanation in this analysis. So why are we forced to support the implied legitimacy of another god by being surreptitiously sold halal food, even to Church of England schools? The barnabasfund is taking up this fight through its Operation Nehemiah

Christians can make their mark to assert that there is no other god by signing this petition

Keep the faith, spread the Word and have a good Lent.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The 'religion of peace'

Another report of the burning of a Coptic church in Egypt has appeared on the Voice of the Copts blog (see blog list).

Looking at the scale of this attack perhaps that is what Emdadur Choudhury  had in mind when he described his punishment for burning our national symbol of Remembrance as 'trivial', claiming that it was "only £10 more than a parking ticket".

Monday, 7 March 2011


The cost of two minutes chanting during the Remembrance Day silence followed by burning the poppy, the symbol of remembrance, calculated to insult our dead and those who mourn or remember them - fine £50.  

Emdadur Choudhury, 26, of Spitalfields, east London, receives £792 a month in benefits from the state he despises on top of his wages. Sorry or regret? Not a bit of it 

Is it Islamophobia to question why we tolerate this behaviour which the perpetrator himself regards as trivial, justified by the meagre punishment? In Pakistan and other Islamic countries just a word out of place results in death. Surely there is something more deserving in between. 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Islamic doctrine towards Infidels

Thanks to the Voice of the Copts blog I have just picked up this moving video which you may wish to share with others. 

Postscript: Meanwhile the battle for hearts in the US continues.

Friday, 4 March 2011

A religion of peace?

As the 7/7 inquest drew to a close following five months of hearing evidence, Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Minister for Minorities was being laid to rest, after being assassinated, the latest but probably not the last Christian victim of the so called religion of peace. What possible excuse can there be for atrocities carried out in the name of religion?

"Islam is a religion of peace." I don't think so!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Shabbaz Bhatti RIP

May Angels lead you into paradise;
may the Martyrs receive you at your coming
and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May a choir of Angels receive you,
and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.

Pray for the repose of the soul of Shabbaz Bhatti, Pakistani Minister for Minorities, assassinated for his Christian beliefs.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


No, not bankers with their noses in the trough, completely oblivious to natural justice, but judges themselves who persist in trying the patience of ordinary law abiding citizens.

Yesterday it was the turn of Mr and Mrs Johns from Derby who had already fostered many children but were disallowed from further fostering homeless children under the equality laws because of the way they expressed their Christian faith. The judges said, “We sit as secular judges serving a multicultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to 'do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will’.” An ironic comment following the Prime Minister's remarks following on from Angela Merkle's that multiculturalism had failed. Once again it appears that any views can be expressed provided they are not Christian or perceived to question other faiths.

Also in our one size fits all society, the European Court has decided that insurance risk assessment must be abandoned in the interests of gender equality resulting in higher premiums in general and for women in particular. Coming hot on the heels of the votes for prisoners farce, many law abiding citizens must be wondering where all this is leading and would be justified in thinking that 'equality' and 'human rights' judgements have become a load of cobblers - unless they are football fans.