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Why 'Christian Hate?'? An introduction to the blog

Places Christians shouldn't go A quick tour of Christian Hate?'s case against Christian Aid

Christians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Read all my posts on this topic

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Pope on racism

From a sermon on the second creation story in Genesis 2:-

'Thus the unity of the whole human race at once becomes visible: we are all made from one earth. There are no varying forms of "blood and soil". There are no fundamental differences between one group of human beings and another, as the myths of so many religions thought and as worldviews of our time also claim. There are no differences of caste and race which make people different in their value. We are all one humanity, formed out of God's one earth. [...] The Bible says an unequivocal "No" to every kind of racism, to every division of the human race.'

(Joseph Ratzinger/Benedikt XVI: Berührt vom Unsichtbaren, Freiburg im Breisgau 2000/2005, p. 61, my translation)

Using the I-word

The Beeb keeps us updated on the fight against 'extremism' in colleges. Funny, isn't it, an extremist always used to be an extreme something-or-other, like an extreme socialist or an extreme nationalist, but now we have extremists who are just extreme nothing-in-particulars wanting to kill us in the name of goodness-knows-what. Anyway, it's state-approved.terminology, and the Beeb scribe does his/her duty to the Party.

Just once, though, he/she forgets him/herself and lets slip that dangerous, offence-giving I-word:-

'It [the government's set of guidelines] also mentions dissident Irish republican groups, as well as some racist and fascist organisations.'

Yes, indeed, we've still got to keep a careful eye on what those Paddies are up to.

Among friends

Harry's Place has a post on the Friends of Sabeel, revealing that, although Baroness Tonge may have been ousted from her Trusteeship at Christian Aid, prominent supporters of CA are still happy to rub shoulders with her - and with other apologists for terrorism.

As I've noted in the comments, Michael Langrish and John Gladwin, fellow patrons of Friends of Sabeel with Tonge, are bishops of Exeter and Chelmsford respectively. Langrish is currently a Trustee of Christian Aid. Gladwin stepped down last year after 10 years as Chair of CA. So much for CA distancing itself from Tonge and her like.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From the papers: Gaza and the new anti-Semitism

Howard Jacobson seems to grow in stature every time he squares up to the new anti-Semitism. Has he ever been as majestically eloquent as this?

Scan the comments, though, and weep. This is the first and by no means worst of those apparently deemed by the Indie not to be 'offensive or abusive':

'With a name like that....

'Why not just become a lobbyist for Isreal [sic] and have done with it? You are hardly impartial or objective.'

There's no way into a mind like that. I'm sure the writer would have no hesitation in dismissing Denis MacShane MP, despite his name, as an Isreali stooge. His is a valuable and all-too-rare non-Jewish voice, though. My only quibble, as you'd expect from my last post, is with the dig at the Pope's supposed 'embrace' of a Holocaust-denier. Benedict's on our side, Denis - haven't we got enough real anti-Semites to fight without creating imaginary ones?

Mr MacShane leaves in the air the question why non-Jews can massacre Muslims on a scale far exceeding the scale of destruction in Gaza without exciting a fraction of the Muslim indignation provoked by Israeli actions. Janet Daley supplies the answer, if one is needed. The 'I had one of them taxi drivers in the front of my cab' thing is a hoary journalistic cliche, but can be forgiven this time. Israel represents the theological abomination of Jews not knowing their place. The artlessness of the Luton cabbie, rather touchingly described by Ms Daley, can stand for the great majority of anti-Semites through the ages. This man is anything but a monster, but there are monsters inside his head, and they have been put there by people less innocent than he.

People like these (and credit to the Beeb for running this story); note how they, and the man from Hamas, feel about civilian casualties in Gaza.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Don't mention the Pope

It's suited all kinds of agendas to spin the case of the Holocaust-denying bishop as being about the Pope's less than unequivocal rejection of Holocaust denial. Religiophobes, anti-Catholics, anti-Pope Catholic liberals and - it must be said - overreacting Jews have all joined in the fun, and have not allowed it to be spoiled by mere facts. For, however misguided one may judge Pope Benedict to have been, his decision to lift the excommunication of the Society of St Pius X plainly had nothing whatsoever to do with Richard Williamson's odious views.

That the Pope has been breathtakingly badly advised hardly needs saying. Beyond that, I suspect that a very human desire to have people on his side has made him too ready to assume that the traditionalisms of others are as rational and generous as his own. Where the SSPX are concerned that is plainly very far from the case. But a sympathizer with Holocaust denial he emphatically is not.

One thing I, for my own personal reasons, find particularly objectionable about this spinfest is the way the Pope's nationality has been dragged in. Sometimes it's been pious exhortations to him that as a German he ought to know better, sometimes 'what can you expect from someone who was in the Hitler Youth?' insinuations.

Well, actually, everyone ought to know better, be they German, British or Iranian. And what you can expect from Benedict is to view that part of his country's past with the same horror and shame as any well-informed and decent present-day German. So can we move on from the Basil Fawlty complex, please? Fat chance, when we're educating a generation for whom the Third Reich is all they know about Germany and practically all they know about the history of anywhere.

It's not the Hitler Youth but Winchester and Cambridge we have to thank for the Holocaust-denying bishop. If there's a nation which deserves to be embarrassed on this score it isn't Germany.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Nurses, not cretins

We need help from the Dawk on this one. The Holocaust-denying bishop isn't a problem. That's obviously typical of what religion does to you. But what about the kind of person who would want to suspend a nurse for offering to pray for a patient? How do you get that smallminded without any assistance from theism, for Almostcertainlydoesntexist's sake, Professor?

I for one am in need of all the prayer that's going and should the occasion arise would be delighted to be prayed for by any nurse, be he/she Muslim, Seventh Day Adventist or Zoroastrian. Is there some kind of card I can carry to make my wishes known? Would that appropriately promote diversity and equality?

A final and very serious question for anyone who's after my vote: who will give me a National Health Service where I pay for nurses and not cretins?