Justin Welby strides fearlessly into the Israel-Hamas conflict wielding clichés

From here:

Archbishop of Canterbury calls on leaders in Israel and Gaza to immediately end the violence, and urges Anglican churches both to pray and offer support to all victims of the conflict.

[…..]

“While humanitarian relief for those civilians most affected is a priority, especially women and children, we must also recognise that this conflict underlines the importance of renewing a commitment to political dialogue in the wider search for peace and security for both Israeli and Palestinian. The destructive cycle of violence has caused untold suffering and threatens the security of all.

There is no cycle of violence. Hamas does not fire rockets into Israel because Israel is attacking Hamas. It fires rockets into Israel not because of what Israel does or does not do, but because of what it is – a country filled with Jews, a people it hates and is determined to exterminate. The only way the violence will end is if Israel wins – decisively.

“For all sides to persist with their current strategy, be it threatening security by the indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian areas or aerial bombing which increasingly fails to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, is self-defeating.

Not at all: the self-defeating option is for Israel to quit before the job is completed.

The road to reconciliation is hard, but ultimately the only route to security.

How can you reconcile with an organisation whose sole aim in this life and the next is to eradicate your entire race?

All this highlights the need for underlying issues to be addressed, whether the ongoing terror threat to Israel or the expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The failure to find constructive paths to peace poses a threat to the future of all the peoples of the region.

Or, As Neville Chamberlain said in 1938:

“We, the German Führer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for two countries and for Europe.

“We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.

“We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe.”

“My good friends this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time.”

USA: 140,000, Israel: 15

Two days ago Theodore Van Kirk, the last crew member of the Enola Gay died:

The last surviving member of the U.S. crew that dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, hastening the end of Second World War and moving the world into the atomic age, has died.

Theodore Van Kirk died Monday of natural causes at the retirement home where he lived in Georgia, his son Tom Van Kirk said. He was 93.

One day ago, the country on whose behalf the Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb that deliberately targeted and killed 140,000 civilian men women and children in Hiroshima, condemned Israel for accidentally killing 15 civilian men women and children in Gaza:

The United States is condemning Israel’s shelling of a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip that was sheltering displaced Palestinians.

It’s the sharpest criticism the U.S. has levelled at Israel over the more than three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

The dog days of Ramadan

From here:

Malaysian politicians and religious leaders have attacked the use of Scottie dogs during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, claiming it was disrespectful to Muslims.

[….]

Mohamad Sabu, the deputy president of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said: “Malaysia and all Islamic countries deserve and [sic] apology from the organiser.

“This is just so disrespectful to Malaysia and Muslims – especially as it happened during Ramadan. Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs, so the organiser should have been more aware and sensitive on this issue.

“It is hoped this incident can teach other Western countries to be more respectful in the future.”

Meanwhile, Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and just about any other Islamic state that comes to mind are beheading, raping, torturing, persecuting and generally oppressing anyone who questions Islam. After exhausting the opposition, they turn on each other; all without disrespectfully touching any dogs.

Justin Welby hopes women bishops won’t be an ecumenical stumbling block

From here:

In a letter sent to Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said he hopes the vote to allow the ordination of women bishops would not prove a stumbling block to future “full communion” between the Anglican and Catholic churches.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Most Rev Justin Welby admitted in the letter that the vote at the General Synod earlier this month to allow women bishops was a “further difficulty” as far unity is concerned.

In the letter to Francis and other church leaders from around the world, the Archbishop said: “We are aware that our other ecumenical partners may find this a further difficulty on the journey towards full communion.

“There is, however, much that unites us, and I pray that the bonds of friendship will continue to be strengthened and that our understanding of each other’s traditions will grow. It is clear to me that whilst our theological dialogue will face new challenges, there is nonetheless so much troubling our world today that our common witness to the Gospel is of more importance than ever.”

I’m sure Justin Welby is correct in saying that a unified witness to the Gospel is needed now more than ever. It seems to me, though, that when the Church of England voted in favour of women bishops, they were setting their own parochial agenda above the unified witness to the Gospel to which they claim to be so committed. Justin Welby was not ignorant of the fact that ordaining women bishops would further fracture Christian unity: women bishops were more important that a common witness to the Gospel and, in that sense, more important than the Gospel itself.

I agree with Peter Tatchell

This once.

Peter Tatchell has threatened to expose Church of England bishops who have same-sex partners themselves yet discipline clergy who do the same. Not a bad idea providing it doesn’t become gay bishop McCarthyism.

From here:

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has put together a list of Anglican bishops he believes are in same-sex relationships and is threatening to out them publicly if they discipline homosexual clergy for marrying their partners.

The warning comes after hospital chaplain Jeremy Pemberton had his license to preach revoked last month by the acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham Richard Inwood after marrying his partner Laurence Cunningham earlier this year.

Mr Tatchell’s decision to compile a dossier of evidence echoes the tactic his campaign group OutRage! carried out 20 years ago when it exposed 10 Anglican bishops as being gay at the 1994 General Synod. He said his aim now, as it was then, is “self-defence” and that he wants to expose church hypocrisy and defend the homosexual community against bishops who endorse anti-gay discrimination.

Although he has not decided whether to reveal his evidence, the veteran campaigner is preparing the groundwork.

“There are names on the list already,” Mr Tatchell told The Independent  on Friday.

Church of England is underpaying its employees

The Church of England is keen to point out to employers that they should pay their employees a living wage:

The Living Wage is a voluntary undertaking by employers to pay their lowest paid staff more than the statutory minimum wage, which is currently £6.19 per hour for workers aged 21 and over. This covers contracted and sub-contracted workers, as well as directly employed staff.

The current Living Wage is £8.55 per hour in Greater London and £7.45 per hour in the rest of the UK.

It is much less keen to follow its own advice, though:

The Church of England, is paying more than 70 of its own workers less than the living wage – despite lecturing employers about their duty to pay higher salaries.

The care and cleaning staff, employed running sheltered housing schemes for retired clergy, earn less than the ‘living wage’ which the Church urges all companies to pay.

The living wage is supposed to ensure that families can afford food, clothes and rent.

What is more, the CofE believes that executives who are too well paid are threatening to disrupt societal harmony:

The church, which has £8bn invested in some of the world’s biggest companies, said executive pay had become so excessive it was a risk to maintaining a harmonious society.

If the executive in question works for the Church, then the rules the church would like to sanctimoniously foist upon secular capitalists don’t apply:

The CofE’s highest paid staff member is General Synod Secretary-General William Fittall, who is on over £150,000 a year, more than the Prime Minister. Since the Church is a charity, this salary puts Mr Fittall among the very best rewarded charity executives.

There is no hypocrisy so grossly conspicuous as religious hypocrisy; in spite of all its other bumbling, the Church of England is doing at least this one thing well.

Anglican ups and downs

The Average Sunday Attendance at ACNA churches has increased 16% over 5 years (2009-2014).

The Average Sunday Attendance at Anglican Church of Canada churches has decreased by 12.5% over 6 years (2001-2007). The ASA at TEC churches decreased 6% over 3 years (2009-2012)

Is there a message here? Yes.

Will the ACoC and TEC listen to it – they keep telling us they love to listen? No.

Another vicar leaves the Anglican Church of New Zealand over same-sex blessings

Further to this post, a second Anglican vicar has left the Anglican Church of New Zealand over the church’s decision to bless same-sex couples.

From here:

The church’s perceived obsession with homosexuality has seen an Anglican pastor break camp and lead his flock into the religious wilderness and find a new home in the city.

Reverend Michael Hewat, the vicar of West Hamilton Anglican Parish on Rifle Range Rd, was the second high profile Anglican leader to leave the Anglican Church in opposition to Motion 30 – a national declaration by the governing body to bless same sex relationships.

He said homosexuality had dominated the church’s agenda for two decades and “it amounts to an obsession”, he said in a letter to Waikato Times.

His refusal to submit to General Synod on the motion passed in May that aimed to recognise same-sex relationships meant a forfeiture his licence to practice as an Anglican pastor.

In May, former Auckland pastor Charlie Hughes walked away with his congregation and Hewat said more would come.

In a letter to the Waikato Bishop, the Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, and the Bishop of Taranaki, Rev Phillip Richardson, Hewat said Motion 30 would “prove to be a disaster” to church unity and by 2016 “the flood gates will open”.

His last service in the Dinsdale church he administered for 20 years was a harrowing time for his congregation.

“It’s an emotional day but we always say the church is the people and not the buildings,” said Hewat.

He surrenders his licence this Friday, July 25 – a move he called a formality – and will vacate church property.

A special general meeting was held earlier in the month where he received 94 per cent support from parishioners and a further postal vote brought that figure to greater than 95 per cent.

Notice that the article refers to a “perceived obsession with homosexuality”. A phrase like that is often used to imply that someone is seeing something that isn’t there. In this case, though, the perception is a reliable view of reality: the Anglican Church really is obsessed with homosexuality. What is more, the church accuses those who refuse to share its obsession of being obsessed with rejecting its obsession. A clear case of projection born of institutionalised narcissistic personality disorder.

On a side note, I will be visiting Auckland, Waikato and a few other places in a couple of months; I will be boring everyone with photographs.

Keeping Jihad in perspective

The Islamic struggle against unbelievers, Jihad, is a serious business entailing sacrifice, rigorous training, dietary observances and routine beheadings of filthy kuffars.

6eWHJWar_400x400Of course, as Abu Fulan al-Muhajir has discovered, none of this is possible without a properly cultivated beard. Have you any idea how hard it is to concentrate on which is the business end of a bazooka when all you can think about are the split ends in your beard?

From here:

Abu Fulan al-Muhajir.
A stranger. Currently fighting in Syria, to make the word of Allah the highest! Independent Anonymous group. kik: AbuFulan

19-07-2014 12-35-26 AMAnd then, my dear, there is the appalling heat:

19-07-2014 12-36-09 AM

So, coddled middle class would be Jihadists, do not leave home without your Frédéric Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo; next to your AK-47, it will be your best friend.