02 September, 2006

Good News from the Middle East 2:

There is still good news to report amongst the tragedy.

Flight Lieutenant Sam Smithson is a pen-pushing lady with a difference. In her spare time, the personnel manager is teaching the locals, both men and women, judo.

Sam, who comes from Accrington in Lancashire, started judo at the tender age of four and competed at National level from the age of 12, won her first national title at 14 and was first capped as a senior international in 2001. She remained on the GB squad until 2004. Throughout her 16 years competing at national and international level Sam won the British title three times and was a member of the silver medal-winning GB team at the 2003 European Championships. She is captain of the women’s RAF and Combined Service Judo teams and led her RAF colleagues to victory four times in the inter-services championships. She ran a children’s judo club at RAF Benson before deploying out to Afghanistan.
Human resources departments will never quite seem the same again.

Tragedies in Afghanistan

Another British military casualty in Afghanistan on Friday brought the sad total to 22.

Ranger Anaire Draiva , 27, was a Fijian serving with the Royal Irish Regiment. A colleague was seriously injured in the enemy attack. Let us pray he makes a full recovery.

In news still breaking, 14 British servicemen - 12 from the RAF, one Royal Marine and an army soldier - have lost their lives when their Nimrod aircraft crashed in southern Afghanistan. Initial reports suggest that that a technical fault in the aeroplane was responsible rather than enemy action.

Update (3.9.06)
The International Herald Tribune has some background to the mission being flown by the Nimrod.

A tale of two bishops.

"Viriginia bishops hit impasse" says the Washington Times. Bishop Lee seems none too happy that one of his priests, Martyn Minns is also a bishop for the Anglican Church in Nigeria.

Bishop Lee issued a statement saying it is canonically impossible for Bishop Minns to be a bishop for the Anglican Diocese of Nigeria while being a priest under the authority of the Diocese of Virginia.
At least Bishop Lee and the newly consecrated Bishop Minns are still talking.

Elsewhere, VirtueOnline reports that in New York, the Episcopal diocese has lost a round in the legal battles over property with St Andrew's vestry , New York. To be continued no doubt.

01 September, 2006

Battling the Bishop.

On 24 August I linked to a story about legal battles within the Episcopal Church: six Episcopal priests from Connecticut had lost their federal case, over civil and property rights, against their bishop, Andrew D.Smith. Now the case is going to appeal.

Given recent hostility towards Christianity of the federal judiciary and its secular allies, I would not give much for their chances.

Ante-natal sonic phrenology

Well not yet; but do not be surprised if it is suggested shortly. Die Fuhrer Blair's latest big idea is that he is going to mould society by identifying recidivists while they are still in the womb. The scheme seems to be that social workers and other interested, but equally poorly educated busy bodies, will identify which parents do not conform to some, as yet unspecified, type of behavioural norms. If the parents fail to get enough ticks in the right boxes, their children will be taken into care. No doubt once in care, they will be introduced to life of crime and prostitution. And so the vicious circle continues.

If that bit of choice behavioural nonsense is eventually tried and, inevitably, does not work, what next? Sterilisation and re-education camps.

You can say what you like about Hitler, but he did this sort of thing much more efficiently and with a great deal less hypocrisy and cant.

Update (3.9.06).
It's not just me thought of Hitler. So did Tony Benn.

This one about identifying troublesome children in the foetus - this is eugenics, the sort of thing Hitler talked about," he told BBC Five Live.
I don't know whether to be self-satisfied or worried about it.

Forgotten Fields

The untimely death of Lance Corporal Jonathan Peter Hetherington brings the number of British armed services' fatalities in Afghanistan to 21.

24dashcom has the Roll of Honour.

31 August, 2006

Canterbury Responses

Dr Williams is "spineless" according to gay humanists, whatever they might be.

As usual, the arguments are essentially political, being phrased in terms of (human) rights. Not a trace of a theological argument. The Rev. Giles Goddard, chairman of the liberal Inclusive Church, came closest to it, when he said of the Archbishop's remarks,

The implication is that there is no justification in scripture for the welcome of lesbian and gay people.
Goddard's clear implication is that there is such a scriptural justification for homosexual clergy. If there is, it is well hidden. Perhaps I've been looking at the wrong scriptures.

Meanwhile, the Russians are seeking to restore ties with orthodox Episcopal dioceses.

27 August, 2006

Canterbury swings

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Archbishop of Canterbury seems to be changing his position on gays in the Church of England.

Rowan Williams has distanced himself from his one-time liberal support of gay relationships and stressed that the tradition and teaching of the Church has in no way been altered by the Anglican Communion's consecration of its first openly homosexual bishop.

The declaration by the archbishop - rebutting the idea that homosexuals should be included in the church unconditionally - marks a significant development in the church's crisis over homosexuals. According to liberal and homosexual campaigners, it confirmed their fears that the archbishop has become increasingly conservative - and sparked accusations that he has performed an "astonishing" U-turn over the homosexual issue.

Dr Williams seems to saying that orthodox Anglicans are theologically sound; but if the tradition and teaching of the church has indeed in no way been altered, why did he not speak out when the liberal American Episopalians ignored it and consecrated an openly homosexual bishop? Something about a stable door and bolts comes to mind.

Has the Archbishop indeed preformed a u-turn or is it a negotiating ploy, preparing the ground for his September meeting with the Episcoplians? Maybe something along the lines of: saying to the orthodox Episcopalians, you are right but please learn to live with the decisions that have been made and let us work together to try to ensure it doesn't happen again; saying to the liberals, you have got what you wanted so let us work together for unity; and privately hoping that in future the problem will just go away.

Ray Honeyford vindicated

In the light of Ruth Kelly's recent speech questioning the value of multi-culturalism (see 24 August, below) the Sunday Telegraph looks in depth at how things things have changed since the Ray Honeyford controversy.

Ray Honeyford, 72, "retired" more than 20 years ago as the headmaster of a school in Bradford. Or, at least, that was when he was vilified by politically correct race "experts", was sent death threats, and condemned as a racist. Eventually, he was forced to resign and never allowed to teach again. His crime was to publish an article in The Salisbury Review in 1984 doubting whether the children in his school were best served by the connivance of the educational authorities in such practices as the withdrawal of children from school for months at a time in order to go ''home" to Pakistan, on the grounds that such practices were appropriate to the children's native culture.
20 years ago I was teaching in a Bradford secondary school, so I saw at first hand the twisted hate with which the extremist left regarded Honeyford. It has taken two decades and the rise of domestic Islamic terrorism to change the thinking of the remote government elite. Now Honeyford's views are entering government discourse when it is too late for this brave man to benefit.