Archive for May, 2014

Welby tells Church schools to teach respect for gay and lesbian relationships

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Church of England admits belief that homosexuality is ‘wrong’ has fuelled bullying and abuse as it tells schools to become like a “Bedouin tent” where all are ‘honoured’
The Most Rev Justin Welby has said that the Church still had a “long way to go” as he spoke of the scars suffered by campaigners in favour of women’s ordination

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor
THE TELEGRAPH
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Children at Church of England schools must be taught to “revere” and “honour” gay and lesbian people despite its centuries-old teaching that homosexual acts are a sin, new rules published by the Archbishop of Canterbury insist.
Guidelines intended to combat homophobic bullying, make clear that words such as gay must not be used in a “derogatory” or “negative” way in Anglican schools.

The Most Rev Justin Welby, insisted that the Church’s official stance – that sex between people of the same gender is sinful – had been clear “for centuries” and had not changed.

But he said that even if the Church taught that it is “wrong”, that did not justify bullying or discrimination.

The document, sent to all CofE schools, says primary school pupils should be taught about same-sex relationships as a basic “fact of people’s lives”.

It adds that church primary schools should draw up policies specifically recognising the needs of transgender pupils.

Meanwhile older children who decide to come out are to be given “unequivocal support” from teachers and chaplains.

Secondary school children should, it adds, be given frank information to help them to “explore their identity”.

Meanwhile traditional Church doctrines on homosexuality are to be presented only alongside a range of alternatives.

It urges heads to ensure the atmosphere in church schools is like a “Bedouin tent” in which “different views can be aired and honoured”.

The 72-page document was drawn up following a call from the Archbishop last year that the Church must face up to a “revolution” in attitudes on sexuality. His remarks came just weeks after he had voted against the introduction of gay marriage.

The document acknowledges that the global Anglican Church is deeply divided about sexuality and that many clergy in England openly disagree with official teaching.

“Within the Anglican Communion there exists a wide spectrum of beliefs about this issue and it is a very divisive matter for the Church at this time,” it says.

“Within a school community of pupils, staff, parents and governors many different views may be held and it should be acknowledged that this is a sensitive topic.”

But it adds that church schools already have teachers who live with same-sex partners and that pupils will have gay friends and parents.
“This is the lived reality of educational contexts in modern England,” it says.

“To deny this reality is to choose to be blinkered.”
The document cites, at the top of a list of reasons why pupils might be involved in homophobic bullying, the belief that homosexuality is “wrong”.
But the Archbishop said: “No sense of something being right or wrong justifies another wrong.

“There is never a point in which because you say that a particular form of behaviour – whether it is this or any other – is wrong that that justifies you saying that it’s OK to bully someone.”

Asked if this meant the Church of England would continue to teach that homosexual practice is a “sin”, he said: “The Church of England’s statement on this is absolutely clear in its canons and has been for centuries.”

The Archbishop, who was educated at Eton, added that he had seen anti-gay bullying at school and had been “appalled”.
During a visit to Trinity Church of England School in Hither Green, South London, he joined a discussion with pupils about homophobic bullying.
Among them, 15-year-old Ruby Tarrant described how told how Christians had told her she was “going to Hell” after she came out aged 12.

“I was made to feel that I wasn’t a girl, I was pushed down stairs – I was told constantly that I was wrong, there was something wrong with me,” she said.

“In the changing rooms they would push me to change in the showers.”
Benjamin Cohen, publisher of the website PinkNews, who campaigned for same-sex marriage, said: “I think it is really positive that he is talking about it and listening to pupils – but there is a fundamental challenge.
“How can you tell 11-year-olds that it is OK to be gay and that it is wrong for people to be bullied for being gay but at the same time, theologically, to say that being gay is wrong and that same-sex relationships are not of equal value?”

END

Catholic-Anglican talks a journey to nowhere, report concludes

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Author:

George Conger

Anglicanism in the United States is functionally incoherent as an ecclesiastical system, the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States concluded in a report released last month, as there is no normative voice for doctrine and discipline in the Episcopal Church of the USA.

In a paper entitled: “Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment: Seeking a Unified Moral Witness,” approved at the ARC-USA meeting held on 24-25 Feb 2014 at the Virginia Theological Seminary, the joint commission noted “how differently our two communions structure and exercise authority, not only with respect to moral teaching but all forms of teaching. Our teachings do differ in content, specificity, and detail.”

The Episcopal co-chairman, Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt of Tennessee, (pictured) told the Episcopal News Service “ARC-USA has produced some important statements in the past.”

“This statement represents the latest landmark in our journey together as churches, and is a valuable contribution to an important topic,” he said.

However, the conclusion of the report found the journey together as churches was heading nowhere.

“The absence of an authoritative universal magisterium among the churches of the Anglican Communion marks a signal difference in the structure of teaching authority,” the statement said.

“Without such a universal teaching authority it is difficult to state definitively the teaching Anglicans hold on many specific matters, beyond the governing documents and prayer book of each particular church. This fact marks a signal difference in the structure of teaching authority from the Roman Catholic Church and helps to explain a significant tension in the relationship between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.”

The paper focused its efforts on two issues: immigration/migration and same-sex relations. In examining same-sex unions, the joint statement said that “the teaching of the Episcopal Church on same-sex sexuality may be said to accept an unresolved tension between primary textual authorities on the one hand and local councils (both General Convention and diocesan conventions) on the other.”

“It is hard to see how our differences in moral theology and ecclesiology will be resolved, and it is not clear to many whether they should be,” the statement concluded.

Following the Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey’s 1966 visit to Rome to meet Pope Paul VI, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission was established to find ways of achieving a reunion of the churches. Beginning in 1970 the first round of talks focused on the authority of Scripture, producing in 1981 the report “Elucidations on Authority in the Church.” A second round of talks was held between 1983 and 2004, producing an agreed statement on Marian theology in 2004.

However, the 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council saw sharp objections raised to the statement, with some delegations repudiating its conclusions. Pope John Paul II terminated talks in the wake of the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, and the Anglican co-chair, the Most Rev. Frank Griswold, was forced to step down from his post, in light of his part in the Robinson consecration.

In 2011 Archbishop Rowan Williams and Pope Benedict XVI initiated a third round of talks designed to find common ground on moral teachings. However, the enthusiasm for the enterprise appears to have abated.

Writing in the Catholic Herald, Fr. William Oddie, a former Anglican priest and convert to Catholicism asked: “Can anybody explain to me why we carry on with ARCIC? Is there any real intention, as 30 years ago there undoubtedly was, of actually achieving something? Is it a continuing self-delusion on the part of those participating? Or is ARCIC III just a PR exercise, designed to avert attention from the fact that we have now, inevitably but finally, come to the bitter end of the ecumenical road?”

“Whatever it is, we will all, finally, have to face reality: and, surely, the sooner the better,” Oddie said.

Bishop Nazir-Ali Weighs in on Anglican Communion, CofE, Islam and ACNA

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

 

By David Virtue, VOL

 

Bishop Michael Nazir Ali

 

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is the first non-white diocesan bishop in the Church of England. He holds joint citizenships in Pakistan and Britain. He has multiple doctorates both earned and honorary. He has authored 11 books, the most recent being, Triple Jeopardy for the West: Aggressive Secularism, Radical Islamism and Multiculturalism. He has taught at numerous colleges and universities around the world and is the former General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society. His travels take him to countries where Christians are being persecuted for their faith. He was in the US recently as guest speaker at the recently formed CANA East Synod, which was held at Christ Church Anglican on the mainline in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

I sat down with Bishop Michael and over dinner and plied him with questions about the state of the Church of England, the Communion, the Anglican Church in North America, Islam and much more. He is the perfect guest and very undemanding. He sips his wine thoughtfully, thinks long and hard before he speaks, never raises his voice and displays a humility one rarely sees among wearers of The Purple Shirt. If one detects a certain sadness in the man, it is not about himself, but the direction the Anglican Communion is taking, and, of course, his own beloved Church of England. One senses he carries the weight of the church on his shoulders. He is an advocate for the poor and persecuted.

Many of us from “across the pond” believe he should have been the next Archbishop of Canterbury following in the footsteps of George Carey, but it was not to be. A scurrilous secular press did him in and Dr. Rowan Williams, an Affirming Catholic, took the helm. His reign was tumultuous and nearly ruinous for the Anglican Communion. While his successor Justin Welby is an evangelical, he is a theological lightweight compared to Bishop Nazir-Ali. 

I put a number of questions to Bishop Michael.

 

Read here

Pro-marriage Republicans win big in Indiana state elections

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, May 8, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Pro-family and religious groups showed their clout in Indiana politics Tuesday, ousting two Republicans who opposed a marriage amendment earlier this year and successfully defending several vulnerable allies.

Two Republican members of the state House, Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki, lost their races after opposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex “marriage” in the state. In addition to ousting Heuer and Kubacki in favor of Christopher Judy and Curt Nisly, respectively, family groups made sure Rep. Eric Turner won against a challenger despite an ethics controversy.

Indiana Rep. Eric Turner

Turner was given special attention by pro-family organizations because he was the sponsor of the constitutional amendment. While he was found innocent of the charges brought against him, it made his re-election campaign more difficult.

The investigation focused on Turner’s public and behind-the-scenes opposition to legislation that would have temporarily stopped construction of nursing home facilities. Turner — the second-ranking Republican in the state House — and his family have investments in nursing homes.

Turner has defended his actions, noting that he did not vote on the legislation per ethics regulations, and only provided his “expertise” on the subject.

According to Indiana Family Action Executive Director Ryan McCann, several organizations — including the National Organization for Marriage, American Family Association of Indiana, and Family Research Council Action — worked with his group “to inform voters of the voting records of their elected officials, particularly about marriage.”

“We paid for mail and/or radio in nine different state legislative races here in Indiana,” said McCann.

McCann told LifeSiteNews.com that Kubacki and Heuer “had voted to support the Indiana Marriage Amendment in 2011 only to vote against it in 2014 when ‘Freedom Indiana’ and other same-sex marriage advocates showed up at the Indiana General Assembly with millions in funding. Rep. Kubacki and Heuer, along with several other their colleagues, robbed Hoosiers of their right to decide the future of marriage in Indiana at the ballot box in November.”

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

“Subsequently a federal judge just recently recognized a same-sex marriage here in Indiana for the first time.”

McCann says the switch-vote by the two ousted Republicans could cost the state its chance to defend marriage and religious liberty. Constitutional amendments in Indiana must be approved by both the Senate and House, and then wait until after the next general election to be approved again.

“The leaders of Indiana’s House and Senate have given commitments that they will take up the newly worded constitutional amendment on marriage and we will hold them to that. However, at best a constitutional amendment could be voted in November of 2016 here in Indiana,” he explained. “Our state statute is currently being challenged in court and we likely don’t have two years to waste.”

“The marriage issue is much more complex than many realize,” McCann expounded. “Not only are activists on the Left attempting to redefine marriage, they are also attempting to squelch the free speech and religious liberty rights of those who disagree with them. Small business owners, like bakers, florists, bed and breakfast owners and many others need protections immediately. If a judge strikes down our marriage law we will likely see more small business and others targeted if they dare voice support for traditional marriage or even publicly hold a moral view of human sexuality.”

McCann says his organization “hope[s] the Indiana General Assembly will give them those protections next Session.” He also said that despite what many political and media elites say about the future of marriage in America, “if more people of courage and conviction would stand up and run for office nationally as some brave candidates for the state legislature here in Indiana have done, I believe the national implications could be huge.  Just a handful of men and women of courage setting brushfires of freedom in strategic states around the country could expose just how wrong those elites are.”

In a press release. Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins said, “Redefining natural marriage is about far more than the marriage altar; it is about fundamentally altering society. In the wake of same-sex marriage, religious freedom and parental rights have been lost.” Perkins pointed to how parents, military service members, and professors, among others, have been punished for supporting traditional marriage.

According to Perkins, “Voters in Indiana and across the country are now realizing that much more than marriage is on the line. Elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.”

“By removing State Reps. Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki, voters made it very clear that leaving the definition of marriage to activist judges is unacceptable,” he said.

While supporters of same-sex “marriage” have seen victories at the judicial level, they have often been punished at the voting booth. Support for same-sex “marriage” was key in the defeat of New York State Representative David Weprin in 2011 in his bid for U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat. Weprin was the first Democrat to lose the seat in 88 years.

The Secret Islamicization of Britain?

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

 

From iBenedictinesislam2

 

This blog has not become a vehicle for conspiracy theories or religious hatred, but the title of today’s post picks up on something that is becoming a common media theme: the Islamicization of Britain by stealth. First we had stories about schools in the Birmingham area being targeted by Islamic fundamentalists in so-called Trojan Horse attempts to secure control; now we learn that many British supermarkets and fast-food chains are selling halal meat without labelling it as such. There is a feeling that this is not quite above board and many (including some Muslims) have expressed dismay that it will stoke existing fears and lead to further misunderstandings. The supermarkets and fast-food chains may have misjudged the public mood in their pursuit of profit, but have they unwittingly highlighted something that should concern us all and which has implications far beyond questions of how schools are run or meat is prepared?

 

You may remember that last year Channel 4 broadcast the Muslim call to prayer during Ramadam. At the time, many welcomed it as indicative of the religious pluralism that is now a mark of British society. Others were more neutral, wondering whether it was a sign of ‘special treatment’ hard to justify to other religious groups; a few were very hostile indeed. Today many would argue that while one can choose whether or not to listen to a broadcast, there is much less choice about where to send one’s child to school, and none at all about what one eats if the packaging/menu does not give the relevant information. So, it is not only the perceived underhandedness of this latest ‘scandal’ that is the problem, it is the lack of control and the fear it engenders. That feeds into all kinds of other fears — of State surveillance, E.U. bureaucracy, even the break-up of the Union. But it has an extra piquancy because, like it or not, many people in this country see Islam as an alien and often negative force. The activities of the Boku Haram in Nigeria, for example, are cited as just another instance of the cruelty and injustice many associate with contemporary Islam. Even as one objects that not many Muslims would identify with its aims, one must also acknowledge the reality of the sense of hurt and grievance people feel.

 

Read here

Arrested for quoting Winston Churchill

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Paul Weston is the Chairman of the Liberty GB Party and a candidate in the forthcoming Elections to the European Parliament. His party has a mission:

Liberty GB will address all the political issues Great Britain currently faces, something the three main parties (along with UKIP) so conspicuously fail to do.

The Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives manifestly refuse to discuss the most important issues of our time, namely mass immigration from the Third World, the steady rise of fundamentalist Islam and the hijacking of traditional British culture and institutions by well-organised left-wing ‘progressives’.

There is no guarantee at such a late stage that Britain can be saved, but Liberty GB will endeavour to put a stop to our rapidly accelerating descent into economic, educational, moral, cultural and social ruin. Britain could be a wonderful country again, but it will take politics bordering on the revolutionary to achieve this vision.

It also has an ideology, which demands: i) The British People’s Ownership of Britain; ii) Indigenous British in Perpetual Majority; iii) Principle of National Preference; iv) Primacy of National Culture; v) Christian Ethics and Morality; and vi) Upholding Western Civilisation:

There are many precepts, values and achievements of Western civilization which are worth protecting and fighting for, especially now that they are threatened by the progress of Islamic fundamentalism. They include popular democracy, equality of value of all human beings, the rights of women and minorities, freedom of speech and religion, animal welfare, science, logic and rational thought. The civilization of the West, which was founded on the Greco-Roman world and Christianity, would cease to exist if it renounced these, its most fundamental roots.

Paul Weston is a self-declared (or, rather, politico-media-designated) “racist” and “Islamophobe”:

He clearly has a certain defensive and robust view of Islam, which is apparently not so different from that of Nick Griffin and the BNP.

But his view is also shared by the eminent Richard Dawkins, who has referred severally to “Islamic barbarians“, Islam’s “backwardness” and its “appalling attitude to women and various other moral points”.

For some, this constitutes “racism”; for others it is simply religio-political truth.

It seems that Mr Weston’s euro campaign hasn’t been going so well, so he engineered a bit of free publicity. He decided to stand on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, megaphone in hand, and proclaim:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”

The quotation is from Churchill’s youthful biographical account of the late-nineteenth-century Mahdist conflict in Sudan, called The River War, written when he was just 25. Apparently, a woman came out of the Guildhall, enquired of Mr Weston if he had any authorisation to make his speech, and when he responded that he had no such permission, she told him: “It’s disgusting!” and proceeded to call the police.

We are then told that “six or seven officers arrived. They talked with the people standing nearby, asking questions about what had happened. The police had a long discussion with Mr Weston, lasting about 40 minutes. At about 3pm he was arrested. They searched him, put him in a police van and took him away.”

Poor Mr Weston.

Or perhaps not, since his campaign publicity stunt appears to be working.

The curious thing is that it isn’t at all clear what crime he has committed.

While Richard Dawkins frequently rails quite unpleasantly against Muslims (he rarely distinguishes between extremists and moderates), Paul Weston quoted Churchill’s criticism of “Mohammedanism”, “Mohammedan law”, “the faith of Islam” and “the influence of the religion”.

You may object to the derogatory use of the term “Mohammedanism” to describe “Islam”, but Muslims are Mohammedans in much the same way as followers of Jesus are Christians. Of course, Muslims would never say that they worship Mohammed – the focus of their adoration is Allah alone. But by exalting him as the Seal of the Prophets, the fulfilment of divine revelation and the pre-eminent exemplar for all mankind, he is venerated and honoured above all men – and some would argue idolised in his seventh-century Arabian primitiveness and barbarism.

Whether you believe this view of Islam or not ought to be of no legal consequence: no one has the right not to be insulted or offended, especially since the reform of Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, which His Grace supported. It is important to protect freedom of speech, and this fundamental liberty must override any subjective cry of hurt feelings or professed politically-correct disgust.

And yet, with the arrest of Paul Weston, the police appear to have arrived at an interpretation of Section 5 reform which now permits a teenager to refer to Scientology a “cult”, but does not allow anyone to criticise Mohammed or assert that Islam may be in any sense economically deficient,  intellectually backward, spiritually fanatical, socially dangerous, fearfully fatalistic, legally misogynist or morally degraded.

Unless, of course, you happen to be an eminent academic safely ensconced at Oxford and able to shroud your ‘Islamophobia’ beneath the respectable veneer of enlightened atheism.

Subway succumbs to sharia

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Read this carefully and then we should ask if Christians should so easily accept “halal” meat, sometimes that is all you can buy at the supermarket in parts of South Africa.  Perhaps we need to discover what it meaans to make “strong demand” added by webmaster.

“Today I place my faith in, and am grateful to Allah the almighty, to announce that tomorrow, Thursday, 1 May, 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases,” said the Sultan of Brunei, as he took his oil-rich Abode of Peace back to the dark ages with the imposition of sharia law for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Phase one, we understand, refers to certain civil matters like marriage and divorce. “Other phases” includes, well.. we know only too well. A country which has been independent from the United Kingdom for just 30 years is about to subject its entire population – including Christians, Buddhists and a 1,000-strong regiment of the British Army – to the hanging of gays, flogging of fornicators, stoning of adulterers and the dismemberment of thieves.

Sharia law phase one in the UK has rather a more liberal face. Formally, the system has no legal jurisdiction at all: provided an activity prescribed by sharia principles does not contravene the law, Muslims are free to live as they wish. And this is as it ought to be in a liberal democracy which embraces diversity and advances religious tolerance. There is no problem at all – bar those concerns relating to animal welfare – with a commercial food chain like Subway catering for Muslim tastes in Tower Hamlets, as one might expect them to cater for Jewish proclivities in Golders Green or Sikh cravings in Southall.

Except, of course, where they do offer kosher meat, non-Jewish customers are given the choice of a hearty BLT baguette; and Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Hare Krishnas are able to choose the vegetarian option should they so desire.

But such freedom of choice is apparently no longer available in 185 Subway outlets in ‘Muslim areas’ (probably Bradford, Oldham, Birmingham, Leicester, Slough and parts of London), where ham and bacon are banned and all meat is halal. Non-Muslim customers are somewhat limited in their selection of sandwich filling because, Subway say, of a “strong demand” from Muslims. Quite how strong isn’t entirely clear. But it’s obviously an awful lot stronger than the demands of Jews, Christians or Sikhs, all of whom may very well object to eating meat which has been sacrificed exclusively by Muslim butchers beneath the blade-thrusting declaration: “Bismillah Allah-hu-Akbar!” (‘In the name of Allah, who is the greatest’).

While Christians are at liberty to consume whatever their conscience permits (Mk 7:19; Acts 10:10-15), St Paul expresses a particular concern over “meat offered to idols” (1Cor 10:14-32). But this assumes that the believer is aware that the meat has been blessed in the name of Allah, who is, as we know, the greatest.

If the Christian is kept in the dark, Paul is rather chilled about the matter until someone comes along and makes the believer aware that the meat was idol-sacrificed. Christians are then exhorted not to eat the meat for their sake: we may eat and drink anything unless and until it causes another to stumble.

Subway halal meat is clearly labelled, but they aren’t overly bothered about the dietary sensitivities of Christians. Not even those Christians who live in ‘Muslim areas’. Probably because they have made no “strong demand”.

Unlike Hindus, some Sikhs eat meat, not least because one of their gurus (Gobind Singh) is often portrayed hunting on horseback, and he probably wasn’t out coursing for lettuce. Yet within the Sikh religion are the ‘kurahit’, or prohibitions – one of which is not to eat meat “killed in the Muslim way”. The origins, as ever, have more to do with the historic subcontinental politics of identity, but it is a sustained article of belief for Sikhs all over the world that they are simply not permitted to eat halal meat at all.

And, for Jews, while halal is similar to kosher in regard to the method of slaughter – shechitah – it is certainly not the same in respect of utensil usage, the mixing of milk and meat, and the foodstuffs which may be consumed (shellfish, for example, are eaten by many Muslims).

But Subway aren’t overly bothered about the dietary sensitivities of Sikhs and Jews either. Not even those Sikhs and Jews who live in ‘Muslim areas’. Probably because, like the Christians, they have made no “strong demand”.

And so, once again, we come to the place where “strong” religious demands subjugate the rights and ride roughshod over the sensitivities of those who make no religious demand. In the pyramid of competing rights, various groups are vying for hegemony at the expense of others, and in Subway a victor has clearly emerged. The store has become a souk. Or 185 of them, at least.

His Grace does not do boycotts.

Unless, of course, he feels strongly about a matter.

Subway has just lost a customer.

But they won’t care, of course, principally because His Grace’s 12.8k Twitter followers can make no “strong demand” or inflict any economic damage.

Stephen Fry’s 6.8m Twitter followers may, however, make a “strong demand” on The Dorchester Collection of hotels, which are owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Mr Fry has decided to boycott the prestigious chain in protest at the imminent ‘phase two’ sharia stoning/hanging/dismemberment of gays in the Sultanate. And the whole of Hollywood and the global fashion industry are seemingly following his lead.

Since the Church has largely gone Trappist, maybe Christians need a new flexible mechanism for making “strong demands” on commercial enterprises and political parties – perhaps something like ‘Holy Vote‘.