Today I went to a Remembrance service at a war memorial followed by one at a church. At both, the national anthem was sung, and other nationalistic sentiments were expressed in word and song. It goes without saying that Remembrance is an incredibly important and significant time for many people and for the society we... Continue Reading →
Has the Church Abandoned the Poor?
In April 2018, Philip North, Bishop of Burnley expressed the opinion that there was “a widespread perception among northern DDOs [diocesan directors of ordinands] that candidates from working-class backgrounds with northern accents are victims of prejudice” in the selection process for ordination training. Bishop North has, in recent years, become one of the sharpest critics... Continue Reading →
Does the Church of England Face “Disestablishment by a Thousand Cuts”?
In 2000, the then future Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, predicted that before long the Church of England would experience “disestablishment by a thousand cuts”.1 This did not happen during his tenure as Archbishop, and as we shall see, for various reasons it seems even less likely to happen under the current Archbishop of Canterbury,... Continue Reading →
Truth, Freedom of Speech, and the Poppy
This blog is a sort of semi-sequel to this one. If you have not read it, you may like to. In a recent speech, the actor and comedian Stephen Fry expressed his frustration at the apparent death of the political centre ground. The problem, he feels, is that freedom of speech is under attack from both... Continue Reading →
The Church Can No Longer Be Politically Neutral
I can still picture the moment I discovered that there are Christians who believe that climate change is a good thing because it will speed Christ’s return! Much like the famed ‘rapture hatch’, it can be tempting to laugh at such eschatological clumsiness, but for the seriousness of its implications. A similar story emerges with... Continue Reading →
The UK’s Handling of the ‘IS Beatles’ is Illegal, Immoral, and Dangerous
Regardless of the horrendous nature of their crimes, the UK's handling of the cases of Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, sets two very dangerous precedents: stripping them of citizenship, and refusing to demand assurances that they will not receive the death penalty.
“Why Are You Not Communist Like Jesus Was?”: Anarchists on Christianity
For some time now I have been thinking about how to open this blog up to allow voices other than my own to be heard. Recently I 'reblogged' a piece from elsewhere for the first time, and soon a series of guest bloggers will be posting on issues close to them. For this piece though, I... Continue Reading →
The Problem With Policing
Expressing your aversion to the police as an institution immediately elicits some variation of the same question each time: “what if someone’s breaking into my house?” or “what if someone attacks me?”. People worry about being the victim of, or witness to a crime, and this is completely understandable. Problems soon come though, when such... Continue Reading →
Joy in Enough: Economics for People and Planet
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” So goes Henry Ford’s oft parroted quote. It is particularly popular with Donald Trump, who has tweeted it on at least three separate occasions. Of course it’s easy for someone like Donald Trump to say, starting out, as... Continue Reading →
The Poppy Appeal: State Militarism in Fancy Dress
I nearly joined the army once. I was a teenager, a young school leaver, with little to show for my years eking out a miserable existence in a place that didn’t want me. I joined a college course, completely unsuitable for me, and eventually left when my anti-authoritarian streak reared its ruinous head. The course... Continue Reading →