So while an ordinary pleb goes to jail for bigoted abuse, a Member of the European Parliament does not? (Updated, 19th October)
Griffin’s Twitter feed is unsuspended, and as one might expect, he’s celebrating with a tirade of homophobic abuse.
Apparently if you’re an elected representative – MP Andrew Mitchell, MEP Nick Griffin – the rules aren’t the same for you as they are for plebs like us.
“We’ve been told that Nick Griffin is threatening to come to our house and hand out leaflets outside,” Mr Black added.
“But, we live in a village where it wouldn’t be easy for him or many people to come and gather. There’s nowhere to park for a start and very few people walk past apart from school children. If anything happens it would be a damp squib.”
Posted 18th October
The very Christian Family Research Council says:
That abandonment of principle is leading to a decline in membership, especially among the more liberal denominations. As more churches move away from biblical authority, their attendance suffers. Just ask the Episcopal Church, whose pews are virtually empty after the decision to endorse homosexuality. It’s time to push back on the spin that’s feeding our weak brethren who say that compromising truth in pursuit of love is the way to reach the lost. Intuitively, people want to anchor their lives to something meaningful — something that demands the sacrifice and discipline of “taking up your cross.” When a denomination abandons the truth and waters everything down to love, it reduces the church to another hour of Dr. Phil — which is something Americans can get without ever leaving home.
In March 2010 Susanne Wilkinson, acting out (she assures us) her Christian values, decided that a respectable couple holidaying in the UK (Michael Black is 64, and John Morgan is 59) could not have a double room in the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire – though they had made a reservation and paid a deposit – because they are a gay couple, and Wilkinson is of the opinion that Jesus doesn’t like that sort of thing and doesn’t approve of showing hospitality to those sort of people.
The Monkeysphere for humans is about 150 individuals: the number of people you think of as being in your social group.
I think it only fair to say that the phrase the Monkeysphere came from Cracked.com, though it’s based on serious scientific research done at the University of Liverpool:
Humans are primates, too – so do they fit into the pattern established for monkeys and apes? This is the key question which Robin Dunbar sought to answer by using the same equations to predict human social group and clique size from neocortex volume. The results were… ~150 for social group size, and ~12 for the more intimate clique size. He subsequently discovered that modern humans operate on a hierarchy of group sizes. (Research Intelligence)
The number of people in Scotland who are willing to tell any researcher with a clipboard that their sexual orientation is lesbian, gay, or bisexual, has been calculated to be 47,923. Continue reading
On Sunday 20th July 1969, Buzz Aldrin invited the listening world
“I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.”
He had received communion bread and wine from Webster Presbyterian Church near Houston, which still celebrates Lunar Communion Sunday every July, and a year later Aldrin wrote:
“I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.”
A few moments later Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were to step out of the module on to the surface of another world for the first time. Aldrin added, later, reflecting on his action:
“Perhaps, if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion. Continue reading
Among the many books he edited, as a “first reader,” were all of mine, every single one. He was my biggest fan, and believed in me more than anyone I’ve ever known. He never disrespected the power of sexuality, erotic language, or the magnitude of sexual politics. He was so proud of me and his granddaughter, Aretha. His sense of social justice, and the power of poetry and language to change the world, has inspired me all my life. Susie Bright: Bill Bright, 8/13/28 – 10/15/06
This morning in quick succession I stumbled across two stories about fathers, Nils Pickert and Tom Smith. So today’s links-roundup is about fathers and children.
My five year old son likes to wear dresses. In Berlin Kreuzberg that alone would be enough to get into conversation with other parents. Is it wise or ridiculous? “Neither one nor the other!“ I still want to shout back at them. But sadly they can’t hear me any more. Because by now I live in a small town in South Germany. Not even a hundred thousand inhabitants, very traditional, very religious. Plainly motherland. Here the partiality of my son are not only a subject for parents, they are a town wide issue. And I did my bit for that to happen…
Tom Smith, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania:
Pressed by a reporter on how he would handle a daughter or granddaughter becoming pregnant as a result of rape, Smith said he had already “lived something similar to that” in his family.
“She chose life, and I commend her for that,” he said. “She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to … she chose the way I thought. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.”
When a reporter asked Smith to clarify what kind of situation was similar to becoming pregnant from rape, the candidate responded, “Having a baby out of wedlock.”
He added, “Put yourself in a father’s position. Yes, it is similar.”
Revd Matthew Firth preached at St Matthew’s church in Ipswich, where he was Curate, on 13th May 2012. As of the new term, he will be working Chaplain to the University of Cumbria in Carlisle:
There is something which I believe the Lord has been speaking to me about for a few months now, and it’s based on what I think is one of the most chilling verses in the Hebrew Scriptures. Judges 21:25 says this: ‘In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.’ I therefore want to say something about The King, the Kingdom, and rebellion against the King and his Kingdom…and of course I’m talking about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
(For full text, see Matthew Firth’s Sermon.)
(For Matthew Firth’s tweeting against equal marriage in January, see Firth’s Tweets. For the rebuttal of his scientific nonsense, jump to Narth Science.)
The chaplaincy page at the University of Cumbria website says:
While the chaplaincy has a distinctively Christian flavour to it and seeks to provide opportunities for students and staff to explore the Christian faith, we also want to be a pastoral service which is well and truly open to everyone, regardless of faith or belief. So, if you do want to explore the Christian faith, we would love to accompany you on the journey. But if you are simply seeking a safe space, a listening ear or personal support, we would love to be of help in that too.
Yesterday, all Catholic Churches in Scotland were directed to read out a “Pastoral Message on Marriage and Family Life” from the Bishops of Scotland on Marriage and Family Life from the Bishops of Scotland which was explicitly intended to let LGBT people in Scotland know that our families, and our marriages, are considered by the Catholic bishops to be unworthy and wrong. It announced a new Commission to “promote the true nature of marriage as both a human institution and a union blessed by Jesus” from which everyone not cisgendered and heterosexual is banned.
Cardinal O’Brien showed little faith in it, arguing that if same-sex couples can marry legally, this will “alter or destroy” the marriages of people to whom the Catholic Church is willing to provide pastoral support. (He doesn’t explain how.)
“The church’s teaching on marriage is unequivocal, it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that governments, politicians or parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality.”
This blog is about love, fried chicken, incest, the Benedictine order, Saint Aelred, marriage, and the Bishop of Aberdeen. Not necessarily in that order.
The Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, entered Pluscarden Abbey at Moray in 1974 and was ordained a priest in 1979: he became Abbot of Pluscarden in 1992 and is celebrated for his support of Latin liturgy:
wonderful to see that … Aberdeen will soon have a pastor known for his understanding of liturgy and the “reform of the reform” currently sweeping through the Universal Church. The Divine Office and the Mass are both sung in Latin (using Gregorian chant) at Pluscarden, and devotees of the Extraordinary Form and traditional Catholicism have always been made to feel welcome there.
Gilbert left the monastery to be ordained Bishop of Aberdeen on Monday 15th August 2011.
“The rule of St Benedict says ‘prefer nothing to the love of Christ,’” he said. “I would like to think I take a firm sense of that with me, a sense of Christ and a certainty of Christ.”
On Friday 2nd September 2011, less than three weeks after Gilbert became Bishop of Aberdeen, the Scottish government launched their consultation on gay marriage. Monica Baldwin wrote a book about her experience of entering the secular world, I Leap Over The Wall: A Return to the World after Twenty-eight Years in a Convent – she entered her convent in 1914, a few months before WWI, and came out in 1941. In 1974, when Hugh Gilbert entered his monastery, the first international conference on gay rights was held in Edinburgh: sex between men was still illegal in Scotland, and had barely been decriminalised in England and Wales.