The Spell of Faith and Politics

The Magical Spell of Faith

God’s SatNav for Britain

By Willem Sander van Boxtel

The first time I set eyes upon the glorious House of Lords chamber, in the  summer of 2013, I was an ignorant tourist in the UK. With blissful awe I gazed on the golden decorations, the wooden benches, the leather seats, the red armrests. The red armrests which only seemed to be added to one bench. But the question why did not race through my fifteen-year old mind. Only much, much later did I find out the Bishops were granted those seats. The Bishops? Yes, the Bishops.

Continue reading “The Spell of Faith and Politics”

Share

And so the Church of England Collapse Continues…

I know I only posted yesterday about the ongoing war over homosexuality that is taking place in the Church of England which has revealed a deep split over the issue (although I think we all knew it was there).

Well, the ongoing collapse continues with two more stories (both taken from the BBC website):

Continue reading “And so the Church of England Collapse Continues…”

Share

Is the CofE About to Tear Itself Apart?

In a week when the first Church of England Bishop came out as gay and in a relationship (and yet stating that he is obeying the rules and staying celebate… we believe him don’t we?), another CofE vicar in Tunbridge Wells is threatening to form a new group to orchestrate a formal split from the church on the issue of “watering down the church’s teachings on homosexuality. Oh, and he has gone on to state that old, hateful and now thoroughly debunked canard that Gay Pride encourages child abuse.

Continue reading “Is the CofE About to Tear Itself Apart?”

Share

Blackburn Diocese says fracking ‘damages God’s creation’

I initially did not know how I was going to write this post given the controversial nature of the subject matter. One thing is for certain I am not going to take a position on Shale Gas Drilling aka Hydraulic Fracturing or “Fracking” in this post. I am sure there are subscribers to this site who are passionately against it, those that are for it, and those that have no opinion due to a lack of scientific knowledge (I place myself in the latter camp). I do not wish to raise that controversy and if you want to discuss the merits or lack of them for fracking there are other websites and forums to comment on; this is a site about Atheism after all!

What this post is about is a rather unhelpful (or more accurately useless) contribution by the Church of England’s Diocese of Blackburn in the current debate over fracking. What they have said is that fracking “damages God’s creation” As reported on the BBC website. No science, no links to peer reviewed research just a statment that humans should not sacrifice the environment for profit. Whilst I might agree with some of the sentiment, invoking the “guy in the sky” to build your argument on is unhelpful at best, ridiculous at worst. But it gets worse, after a summary of what fracking is the Diocese’s document goes on to say:

“Any consideration of the pros and cons of an issue like ‘fracking’ has to be viewed in the context of global climate change, which itself cannot be ignored by Christians, as it raises questions of justice, fairness, provision, stewardship and love for God, his creation and his creatures, including our global human neighbours.”

And it goes on:

“The time we spend thinking, praying and acting now to protect our drinking water, and the rest of God’s glorious creation cannot compare with the time succeeding generations could potentially spend trying to make good what will likely happen if we in the church remain uninformed and silent.”

If there is an answer to whether fracking is damaging to the environment or not, what the effects on the environment might be and the risk benefit analysis of whether or not that risk is worth taking is purely a scientific question. It is science that will answer it, not the CofE making these pronoucements invoking a deity as an excuse. There is no stewardship of any gods, we are not a creation of any gods and prayer will do nothing to “protect drinking water” if drinking water needs protecting from this procedure.

Leave it to the scientists to answer these questions!

Share

Let’s Pull The Plug

Story from the Telegraph

A new report by the Church of England states that it is in danger of being “wiped out” and that the Church is currently “on life support”. This is good news and I have to ask, is there anything we can do to help pull the plug?

However a few comments on some items in the report:

The Church needs to recruit more believers: it seems (and this is admittedly anecdotal) the best way to recruit is indocrination at an early age as relatively few adults convert. We must keep vigilant about this and continue our campaigns on RE and faith schools.

“This decline in membership, and the accompanying rise in average age, means that fewer people are becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, and that the Church is able to have less impact and influence in the public realm, both nationally and in the transformation of local communities”

Maybe this is because people are waking up and realising it’s fiction!

“…do we dare to believe a different future, that God might want his Church to grow, in holiness and in numbers?”

..or maybe you should realise that your imaginary friend in the sky doesn’t exist, get on with your lives, and build communities based on rationality!

The General Synod will also hear a call for an emergency debate on homosexuality. Church officials will be accused of “woeful” failure to protect the institution of marriage from erosion by the rise of civil partnerships and Coalition plans to allow same-sex couples to register their partnerships in religious settings.

..in other words the CofE has not been effective at being homphobic bigots. Although bearing in mind wider society is much more accepting of homosexuality and gay marriage, if they want to improve numbers why don’t they drop the bigotry and accept homosexualty and gay marriage fully?

Share