We have to base our behaviour according to scripture


It appears that David Cameron is jealous of theocracy. He wants him some of that extra goddy power!

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK is a Christian country “and we should not be afraid to say so” in a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible….

And he staunchly defended the role of religion in politics and said the Bible in particular was crucial to British values.

Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic weekly The Tablet, is chuffed.

“But what Christianity is really about is putting the least first. It requires us to feed the hungry, visit prisoners, have time for the lonely, fight for the oppressed, and love our enemies.”

No it isn’t. If Christianity were about putting the least first then it wouldn’t have put women last all this time, nor would the pope and the Vatican be telling the world’s Catholics not to use condoms despite the existence of the Aids virus, nor would Catholic bishops try to force Catholic hospitals to refuse to save women’s lives via abortion.

In a world riven with inequality, the belief that we are all equal before God requires that we speak up against those inequalities.

Bullshit, Catherine Pepinster. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Your church is one of the last big defenders of inequality.

More sinister than Pepinster, though, is MCB member and imam from Leicester, Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra:

As Muslims we also believe in the Bible. We believe in the teachings of Jesus. Not only that, but in the teachings of all the biblical prophets, including Moses in the Torah. So this is something that we feel is absolutely in tune with the Muslim thinking. We have to base our behaviour according to scripture, God’s revealed message.

For a long time Muslims have been trying to express this idea, that for us as Muslims Islam is not just a religion but a way of life. To divorce politics from religion is not something we are able to do, we cannot leave our religion at home or in the mosques, it comes with us wherever we go. So it’s refreshing to hear the prime minister say Christians should do the same.

As Maryam said – be afraid.

Comments

  1. Retired Prodigy Bill says

    Charles Stross, in his novel The Fuller Memorandum, has a character who succinctly throws religion out the window: the cornerstone of morality must be that moral tenets are applied equally and without favoritism. Abrahamic religions have built in, prima facie biases, and thus are crap when it comes to guiding moral behavior.

  2. Amy Clare says

    It’s hilarious, all this ‘putting the least first’ stuff. Never mind the Bible or the Catholic Church, it’s never been what the Tory party has been about either. Currently in the UK there is a Welfare Reform Bill going through parliament that aims to cut benefits for sick and disabled people – just one way in which public spending is being cut, affecting millions of the most vulnerable.

    British politics and the Bible do have a lot in common at the moment. Bullsh*t and mounds of it.

  3. Irene Delse says

    As Muslims we also believe in the Bible. We believe in the teachings of Jesus. Not only that, but in the teachings of all the biblical prophets, including Moses in the Torah.

    Oh, Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, excuse me while I ROTFL! Why, yes, Muslim theologians love Jesus so much that they have decided that he wasn’t the son of God but only one more prophet, contrary to what the Christian scripture says; and that moreover, he didn’t die on the cross, but only appeared to. In other words, God fooled you, ha ha!

    Oh, and Mary? According to the same scholars, she got pregnant by a miracle but didn’t stay a virgin after the birth of Jesus. Stands to reason, whatever Christians may believe.

    Blaspheme: the religious people did it first, and got to call it “faith”. Oh, the beauty of religious diversity.

  4. Roger says

    The frightening thing is that Blair, who actually believes this guff, could be persuaded not to spout it, whereas Cameron, who probably doesn’t, thinks talking nonsense is electorally beneficial.

    god obviously disapproves of sick and disabled people, Amy Clare; that’s why they’re sick and disabled.

  5. Aquaria says

    And he staunchly defended the role of religion in politics and said the Bible in particular was crucial to British values.

    When these idiots start talking about values, hold onto your wallet while you run for your life.

  6. GordonWillis says

    “But what Christianity is really about is putting the least first. It requires us to feed the hungry, visit prisoners, have time for the lonely, fight for the oppressed, and love our enemies.”

    So, who is least? Surely, least means, at the very least, whoever comes at the back of the ones you put first? Menstruating schoolgirls? surely not!! So, if a pregnant woman will die unless her foetus is aborted, which of them is least? And which, therefore, will come first? We’re getting there; we are at last beginning to understand that in a Christian country the woman will not be least, so she will inevitably be least, I mean, not first, if you follow me.

    It’s not christians who feed the hungry and so on and so forth. It’s people who care, whether they are christians or not. There have always been people like that. Was the Good Samaritan a christian? No. So shut up.

    “Fight for the oppressed”…what, the Albigenses? Define “oppressed”: the ones you tolerate, or the ones you don’t? Does anyone fight for women? When was the last crusade for women? When was the last war of liberation for women? Think about it.

    “Love our enemies”? Anybody read Feser lately? or Franco Frattini? Please tell me why I should love him (either him)? And would he appreciate it if I did?

    “For a long time Muslims have been trying to express this idea, that for us as Muslims Islam is not just a religion but a way of life. To divorce politics from religion is not something we are able to do, we cannot leave our religion at home or in the mosques, it comes with us wherever we go. So it’s refreshing to hear the prime minister say Christians should do the same.”

    We know all this. We also know that this is exactly what is wrong. Islam/Christianity/Judaism are ways of life, and are political, and have to be enforced at the behest of God Almighty (that is, whichever God-Almighty wins the inevitable civil war). And we ungodly are in very very serious trouble. We must look out for our seven-year-old girls: they’ll be the first victims. They won’t be going to (bomb-proof underground) school in burkas, they’ll be wearing gas-masks, bullet-proof body armour and acid-proof face-coverings.

  7. julian says

    Stands to reason, whatever Christians may believe.

    To be fair, that sounds a lot closer to what you can actually get from reading the Bible.

  8. Irene Delse says

    @ julian: True, in the sense that Christian theology added a lot of sediment to the strata of Scripture. Which should prompt us to ask the likes of David Cameron on what religious model, exactly, we should base our behaviour. Is it the humanitarian Jesus giving bread and fish to the hungry crowd, or the judgemental Jesus declaring that if you weren’t for him, you were against him?

  9. says

    Love your enemy. It’s there in the New Testament. Indisputably there. I doubt very much that it can be found in the Old.

    In societies whose policies, practice and history have flouted this at every turn, its has to be seen for what it is. It is in there for a purpose, as a stimulus to the intellect, and as an aid in the development of the power of the faithful to reason things out for themselves.

    I was once told by an intelligent and relatively devout young Catholic (we were both doing national service in the Army at the time) that it was actually possible to love your enemy while simultaneously putting a bullet through him. As he laid his argument out, step by careful step, the curtains parted to reveal that wonderful cinerama of the centuries of Catholic scholarship: how properly trained thinkers can show that black is white, wet is dry, night is day, hot is cold, etc, etc, etc.

    I suppose one could call it reasoning around an obstacle, or explaining it away. I encountered another term for this phenomenon once, but have forgotten what it is.

  10. says

    The Bible says, “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Which is a little odd–every leader deserves to be last in the afterlife? Aren’t there any good ones? Conversely, every person who’s at the bottom of the barrel will be exaulted in the afterlife? Maybe at least a few of them really deserve to be at the bottom?

    This is apocalyptic thinking. The idea was that the good god wasn’t in charge of this world, so if you are on top now, it must be because you’re a favorite of the bad god. And vice versa. Without this context, the verse doesn’t make much sense.

  11. GordonWillis says

    Frankly, Irene, I would rather ask the likes of David Cameron — or even David Cameron — why he should imagine that he simply must stay in power, even to the extent of courting the religious vote, rather than stand on the principles of democracy and freedom of thought. The UK is a democracy, and that’s why he’s Prime Minister. At least, it was a democracy, till he became Prime Minister. Stupid, stupid bugger.

  12. GordonWillis says

    Actually, Galileo Unchained, I suspect that JC’s script-writers were just trying to reassure their beleaguered communities that the anyone carted off to feed the lions would get a first-class seat to watch the writhings of the ungodly in hell. All good fun, and you can pray for their souls, too, which goes to show how godly you are, and that’s such a good thing.

  13. Irene Delse says

    @ Gordon Willis: Sure. I was simply pointing out that <i<even from a religious perspective, the whole “basing our behaviour according to scripture” is devoid of sense. Not being from the UK, I didn’t feel entitled to say whether Mr. Cameron ought or not to stay in power.

  14. Martyn Hughes says

    I am from the UK.

    Dai Camerons ‘sermon’ is nothing more than an appeal to his middle class ‘christian’ voters.

    There’s been a lot of fuss in the UK recently regarding multiculturalism. That’s fair enough. If multiculturalism means adopting a special place for Islam, then count me out.

    However, Dai, is doing what the [main] critics of Islam – ie,. christians – wants to be done, and that means allowing christianity to take ‘pride of place’.

    unfortunately for Dai, it’s not that clear cut.

    I, an atheist, will not accept the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ scenario.

    Political Islam matters, yes. But running to christianity to combat it – which some conservative types want – is counter-productive.

    What we want and need in the UK is a truly secular space. For all.

    He should have said that.

  15. John Morales says

    “The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them high and lowly,
    And ordered their estate.”

  16. SAWells says

    Given the significance of Oxford as a convenient location for torching heretics — e.g. Latimer and Ridley — you’d think a sensible person would refrain from calling for a more Christian nation when speaking in Oxford. We might believe you and start stacking up the kindling.

  17. nmcc says

    “The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them high and lowly,
    And ordered their estate.”

    Yeah, sure thing Morales, and as long as ‘they’ are atheists, your heroes, Dawkins, Coyne, Myers et al, couldn’t give two fucks.

    Is there a greater champion of the parasitic rich than Dawkins?

  18. John Morales says

    [meta]

    nmcc, your non sequitur is mildly amusing.

    This post is about the Prime Minister of the UK advocating a return to Christian values; one of those values is pithily encapsulated in that verse from a traditional hymn, as ironic counterpoint to Catherine Pepinster’s quotes in the OP.

  19. Pen says

    I thought we were paying that twit to run the country (ha ha, well, pretend to anyway). If I want someone to preach to me about values or religion (I don’t), I’ll find someone who’s qualified. As for calling Britain a Christian country, maybe we should if we’re not afraid to tell flat out lies. As far as I know the churches are empty, though the local atheists are just about willing to fork out to keep roofs on them.

  20. Amy Clare says

    Well indeed Roger, there are many references in the Bible to disability being caused by sin. And we all know how much God hates sin, amirite? So it only makes sense for Cameron to channel the holy spirit by whipping the safety net out from under us all. God love ‘im.

  21. sailor1031 says

    @Ian MacDougall:

    “rationalization” perhaps? Or, more likely, “sophistry”.

    But David Cameron is right. We must live by scripture so, starting tomorrow, I am going to live until next Tuesday at 5pm (cocktail hour at “the rivah”) by my interpretation of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. After all it can hardly matter which particular collection of fairy tales one chooses since they all contain the truth but in an ineffable way! Numinous it is, I tell you!

  22. rogerallen says

    So it only makes sense for Cameron to channel the holy spirit by whipping the safety net out from under us all.

    It also creates more opportunities for christian charity, Amy, and gives the rich more money to be charitable with, if they want.

  23. GordonWillis says

    Matthew 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

    So the rich won’t have to pay income tax, and the poor will continue to support all that’s left of the welfare state, and pay private insurance too. And all for less money. And Jesus said so, so it’s good, and just what you would expect of a christian society. Truly God is compassionate, merciful…

  24. Amy Clare says

    Yes!! Christian charity.

    *waits patiently for Pope to sell his Prada shoes on eBay and send the poor and sick the proceeds.*

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