Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Census 2011 - we remain a faithful nation


More abuse...

His Grace has been informed (by email) that he has ‘slandered God’ and ‘blasphemed the name of Jesus’ because he ‘hid (his) light under a bushel’ and is ‘ashamed of the gospel of Christ’ because he refused to tick the Christian box in the 2011 census. His Grace’s ‘Mind Your Own’ campaign apparently led directly to the fall in the number of professing Christians in the UK.

Gosh. What influence and power. Mwhahaha..

In England and Wales, Christianity is still the largest religion, with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent) ticking the box (as opposed to professing the faith). This was 13 percentage points down on 2001, when 71.7 per cent (37.3 million) ticked the Christian box. We are informed that this is the only group to have experienced a decrease in numbers between 2001 and 2011, despite population growth and soaring immigration. Knowsley is apparently the Christian centre of England (80.9 per cent).

The second largest religious group is Muslims with 2.7 million people (increasing from 3.0 to 4.8 per cent of the population). Tower Hamlets is the Islamic centre of England (34.5 per cent). Significantly, Tower Hamlets also recorded the lowest proportion of Christians (27.1 per cent).

14.1 million people, around a quarter of the population in England and Wales, ticked the ‘no religion’ box (an increase from 14.8 per cent to 25.1 per cent). Norwich is the atheist/humanist/agnostic centre of England (42.5 per cent).

Of the other main religious groups:

817,000 people identified themselves as Hindu (1.5 per cent)
423,000 people identified as Sikh (0.8 per cent)
263,000 people as Jewish (0.5 per cent)
248,000 people as Buddhist (0.4 per cent)
240,000 people (0.4 per cent ) identified with religions which did not fall into any of the main religious categories (see excellent Guardian graphic for breakdown).

Importantly, noting that this was a voluntary question, 7.2 per cent of people did not answer the question, as His Grace slanderously and blasphemously exhorted (because he is so ashamed of the gospel of Christ).The ONS concludes from all this: ‘These trends are consistent with data from other sources which show a decline in religious affiliation.’

But this is an overly simplistic summary, as many complex factors come into play when people are asked to identify their religion or categorise their spiritual beliefs. The question ‘What is your religion?’ is interpreted diversely, in terms of belonging, practising, affiliation, language, culture, and identity. There are manifest methodological problems raised by asking the question at all.

The Church of England has issued the following:

“These results confirm that we remain a faithful nation,” said the Rev Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Archbishop’s Council. “ England remains a country where the majority of the nation actively identifies the role that faith plays in their life. Clearly we welcome the fact that Christianity remains the most populous faith in England – with six in ten people identifying themselves as Christian. When all faiths are taken together, people of faith account for two-thirds of the nation - two in every three people identify themselves as having a faith.

“Obviously the fall in those choosing to identify themselves as Christians is a challenge. We need to look closely at the fuller figures published next year and to reflect on what these tell us. One of the reasons may well be fewer people identifying as “Cultural Christians” i.e. those who have no active involvement with churches and who may previously have identified as Christian for cultural or historical reasons. They indicate a changing pattern of religious life in which traditional or inherited identities are less taken for granted than they used to be.”

“The work of the Church of England is not limited to those who declare Christian affiliation. As a Church we continue to serve people of all faiths and none, in parishes, schools, community projects and through the 23.2 million hours voluntary work that churchgoers contribute outside their local church to the local community,” said Arun Arora.

“In a speech earlier this year, Her Majesty the Queen spoke of the Church of England’s ‘duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country’. The figures released today show that the Church’s duty concerns the overwhelming majority of people in England .

“The death of Christian England has been greatly exaggerated. Despite a decade of nay saying and campaigning by atheist commentators and groups, six out of ten people in England self-identify as Christians, a figure which rises to more than two-thirds when including people identifying with faith as a whole.

“During the past decade alone the CofE has baptised an average of 2,500 people a week - with a 40% increase in adult baptisms - conducted more than 100 weddings a week, celebrated the ordination of more than 5,000 new priests and maintained more than 16,000 parish church buildings. While 253 churches closed over the past decade, 1,000 new congregations were started through the Fresh Expressions initiative.

“Today’s figures pose questions – not least for most of the London based national media – about whether their perceptions and reporting of faith accurately reflect the reality of a faithful nation, especially when considering the figures in the North East and North West of the country.

“Doubtless, campaigning atheist organisations will attempt to minimise the significance of the majority figures for faith and Christianity. In fact, these figures draw attention to the free ride that had been given to these bodies whose total membership would barely fill half of Old Trafford. For instance there are an estimated 28,000 members of British Humanist Association – the same membership as Union of Catholic Mothers, whilst the National Secular Society has an estimated 5,000 – the same as the British Sausage Appreciation Society.”

148 Comments:

Blogger William said...

Your Grace

"... a 40% increase in adult baptisms"

Now that is heartening.

12 December 2012 08:45  
Blogger LondonVicar said...

Your Grace:

Do I detect a much more confident note in CofE spokesmen since Justin Welby was announced as your successor?

Or am I imagining it?

12 December 2012 09:02  
Blogger genghis said...

As a leading and long-time adherent of the Jedi rel;igion, and also as a proponent of 'Force' multiplication, I wish to state that all our members are as one on this issue.

The State has no business asking whether we are who we are, and we are determined to show 'Our Dave' that the Force will be directed towards UKIP to encourage them to speak out against the once-proud Tories, and allow Labour to win through by default.

12 December 2012 09:16  
Blogger MrTinkles said...

As a Sith, I take great heart that the number of Jedi has halved in the last decade...

12 December 2012 10:08  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

C S Lewis wrote about a sudden fall off of chapel attendance at his college when it stopped being compulsory. He was glad about this and had written a letter to a newspaper protesting agisnt 'compulsory religion'. As he rightly said, it simply meant that now only people who really wanted to were attending chapel.


I suspect the truth behind this overhyped census result is that the number of people who self identify as Christians but have no real living faith has declined. A technical correction rather like pruning a GP's patient list to remove 'ghost patients'.

I strongly suspect that it tells us precisely nothing about what proportion of the population even attends church, let alone has a vital life changing faith.

12 December 2012 10:19  
Blogger graham wood said...

Dear Genghis. I am so interested in the Jedi religion you speak of. Can you tell us more about it? Does it have a 'god'?

12 December 2012 10:24  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Just to let you know what is happening back on yesterday's post. Tory Party in Civil War from Conservative Home website today...


Beneath Cameron's drive for same-sex marriage lies disdain for his own MPs

..but it doesn't quell backbench Tory anger...

"...on the Tory backbenches, the anger was apparent. Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon,

compared same-sex marriage to polygamy for a second day running. Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, said that the Government was guilty of 'arrogance and intolerance' over the planned changes, while Stewart Jackson, MP for Peterborough, said that the consultation process had been 'reminiscent of a Liberian presidential election'." - The Times (£)

"Away from the public eye, the situation is even more poisonous. 'The atmosphere in the tea-room is terrible, quite grim. Colleagues are at each other’s throats,' says a young Tory MP who favours gay marriage but wonders about the wisdom of the Government staking so much on forcing through the measure." - Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph

http://conservativehome.blogs.com


12 December 2012 10:39  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Doesn't HG feel a little disingenuous after exhorting people to decline responding to the question, only to use the information gleaned to crow the 'new dawn'; pass without comment the advance of Islam but instead take a swipe against a couple of small atheist organisations?

HG should consider becoming a politician.

12 December 2012 10:44  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
It was I believe a professional PR man in our church that first identified the significance of the 72% figure in the last census and used it in promotional material. The significant drop in this percentage has clearly arisen after pressure from the atheists and humanists who asked for a change in the form of the question. It clearly did include those who were nominally or historically associated with the Christian tradition as opposed to any other religion but that did not preclude them from being counted as supporters of the concepts of traditional Christian moral traditions.

12 December 2012 10:46  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dreadnaught @ 10.44, talking of small atheist organisations, this communicant notes that the National Secular Society boasts 5000 members.

Now that's a nice round number.

Too round, in fact.

Would it not be more convincing to release a figure like 4871? Or why not go large and bluff your way with say, 101,653? Nobody will ever know.

If you could record a six figure membership you might get a block discount on joining the Conservative Party. They need a bit of help selling same-sex marriage to the electorate now that their relationship with the CofE has gone pear-shaped.

Could be a game changer for both the Party and the Society, to use the modern idiom.

12 December 2012 10:59  
Blogger Corrigan said...

If there is to be separation between Church and state, then the state should not be asking these questions at all. For myself, liberal society has made it clear that one must choose between the two. I've never been happier since I accepted that I'm living in the Roman Empire, just like the first Christians.

12 December 2012 11:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

'...especially when considering the figures in the North East and North West of the country.'

A look at the Guardian map of religious adherence highlights Cameron's sheer in competence as a politician. It should be obvious to any centre-right politician that the bits in darker colours are where your potential supporters, the socially conservative, are clustered. Next step, develop a raft of policies that appeal to them and work night and day to convince them to break old tribal allegiances.

As this communicant has said before, one of the most powerful institutions in the north-west of the UK (includes Scotland!) is the RC Archdiocese of Liverpool. What to do? Jump in the Gulfstream V and see what the boys want.

O, hang on, the RC Church has just declared a fatwah on the Conservatives, so maybe next year.

Or not.

Stupid is too kind a word.

12 December 2012 11:11  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr Dog
Calm down Dear - I have no association with any group or organisation.

12 December 2012 11:18  
Blogger Naomi King said...


There's an old English proverb that says, 'every cloud has a silver lining', in the context we could equally apply what Paul wrote to the Roman Church when he said that where sin abounds - grace does much more abound', (Romans 5:20).

Yesterday, the Equalities Minister Maria Miller announced in the House of Parliament that the plan to allow for homosexuals to marry is not only being fast tracked through the system, but is being 'enhanced' to permit same sex wedding ceremonies to be conducted in church buildings; something which the Government up to now has emphatically stated would not be allowed.

So what is the silver lining to this very dark cloud you might rightly ask? A highly significant change has taken place among the political parties; up to now, both the Labour and Liberal Democrat leaderships have held to the position that their own members would be required to vote in favour of this legislation being passed; but probably in a bid not to alienate the huge number of people in British society who are deeply opposed to this wicked legislation, and in answer to the groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26) they have 'decided' to allow their MP's to vote according to their consciences'.

When the Lord gave us the vision for Operation – Great Britain in 2010, He clearly told us to go about raising up 100 Christian believers to take responsibility for each Member of Parliament. These believers were to intercede for, and engage with their own local MP's.

If as a result of taking up spiritual governance and 'persuading' the MP's to vote against the redefining of marriage, we succeed with just 51% through prayer, and direct engagement by means of visiting them in their constituency surgeries, and THERE WILL BE NO - SAME SEX MARRIAGE and the terrible consequences which would be reaped if David Cameron's obsession fails would be averted.

When the Lord burdened Nehemiah over the lamentable state of Jerusalem whose walls lay in ruin, He gave him the plan how to rebuild those walls.

It included:-

Everyone who could put their hand to the work must do so, both men and women
The people were to rebuild the walls adjacent to their own houses
They were to have a trowel in one hand for building and a sword in the other to fend off attack from their enemies.
There are striking parallels between Nehemiah's challenge and ours in Britain today, let's take a look at them.

We can all visit our MP's, men and women young and old (hands to the work)
We can only visit the MP in our constituency, (that is the area of wall adjacent to our own homes)
Intercessory prayer and declaration together with direct engagement (spiritual sword and trowel)

The beauty of the strategy which Nehemiah enacted, was that it appealed to both man's higher and lower nature. It was both for the collective good and the glory of God to rebuild the walls; but it was also in the self-interest of the inhabitants to ensure that the enemy couldn't breach the wall exactly where they lived else they would be the first ones to be slaughtered.

If this law is enacted, the consequences for the nation will be catastrophic but they will also have a profound and devastating effect on your and my individual lives and families; but that's for another day.

12 December 2012 11:21  
Blogger Naomi King said...


So let's be practical about how we 'rebuild the walls'. If you don't know who your MP is then please visit www.theyworkforyou.com; type in your postcode and you will see who represents you in the House of Commons. Google their name with MP + surgery hours + address. This way you should easily find when and where they meet their constituents and like the doctor, it is a simple case of calling to make an appointment. You don't need to say at the time what you wish to discuss with the MP. Just say if asked, that it is a private matter. Let us be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

To help de-mystify what goes on in a MP's surgery,especially if you feel nervous about what happens, we have created a short drama video which you can watch here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_4bUx0eQPo By acting out the role of an unbelieving Scottish MP and the people who come to visit are perfectly normal people, of different ages who are mainly Christians. I trust that you will find it both amusing and informative.

In the end it has to be the MP who is 'persuaded' to change his mind.

12 December 2012 11:22  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you, Mr Dreadnaught @ 11.18, my apologies.

This communicant clearly recalls that in the days when Mr Graham Davis, he of the Cambridge NSS, posted on His Grace's blog, the avatar Dreadnaught was a keen supporter of Davis and the NSS.

It now appears that was a mistaken belief.

12 December 2012 11:30  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

MrDog
there was probably were times when our opinions were in accord, but no more than that. ;)

12 December 2012 11:43  
Blogger Naomi King said...


If 60 % of the population are Christian then maybe 60 % of the population don't want deviant marriage ? Just a thought. Politicians take note. I was at the Conservative Christmas Dinner a few weeks ago, the first one they have held in 7 years due to lack of interest/support. Interesting that this is the timescale David Cameron has been on the 'throne'. Chris Grayling the Justice Minister was the speaker (a bit of a coup that) yet the Local Conservatives could only get out 125 people to come, after a lot of hard work. The group was really OLD, everyone almost without exception was in their 70's or 80's or more, present company excepted. The whole thing was DEAD.

Yesterday I was at the UKIP monthly member's they had about 30 who meet every month and all were full of enthusiasm. Two new members signed up yesterday. Almost all disaffected Tories but others too, all honest, hard working people. The backbone of society who used to be the workers of the Tory party and are now putting their energies into working for UPIK.

Interesting eh !

12 December 2012 12:01  
Blogger Flossie said...

How does one get to join the Sausage Appreciation Society? We really must boost the membership if the public is not to overestimate the size of the NSS. I'm quite partial to sausages, especially the large coiled ones, and don't enquire too deeply about what goes into them. (I had a friend who once worked in a sausage factory, and she said 'you don't want to know'.)



12 December 2012 12:02  
Blogger Dan said...

It should be noted that the NSS does not discuss its membership figures in public. The "5000" figure is an estimate by NSS-watchers.

12 December 2012 12:18  
Blogger Berserker said...

There are about 100 Tory MP's opposed to SSM. My question is that if they asked their constituents to vote on this issue there would be overwhelming support against equal marriage.

So would this give a mandate for the 'hundred' to 'cross the floor'? Where to go? As far as I know there are no Independent Conservative MP's so possibly they could land on little Miss Green (Caroline Lucas).

Was it not that interesting Tory MP Chris Skidmore who said recently that a coalition would probably be needed again in 2015 GE but that it should be a coalition of voters and not some cobbled together coalition formed in the corridors of the Commons.

A new National Party perhaps?

12 December 2012 12:28  
Blogger Dan said...

The Church says:

“Despite a decade of nay saying and campaigning by atheist commentators and groups, six out of ten people in England self-identify as Christians..."

Or maybe you could say, "because of", rather than "despite"?

I think what's going on with the census is rather more interesting than this press release is willing to acknowledge.

“During the past decade alone the CofE has baptised an average of 2,500 people a week - with a 40% increase in adult baptisms"

From a low base.

Baptism stats are quite interesting.

In 1991, 180,000 children under 1 year old were baptised. In 2010, only 83,000 were.

In 1991,36,000 children aged 1-12 were baptised. In 2010 c44,000 were.

In 1991, there were 9000 baptisms of "other persons" (presumably those aged over 12). By 2010 there were 11,000.

So you have a an overall decline in baptisms from 1991 to 2010 (225,000 down to 138,000), but behind that is a tendency away from baptism of babies and a slight increase in baptism of older children and adults. But that increase is not enough to offset the decline in baptism of babies.

"conducted more than 100 weddings a week"

In 1982, 51% of all marriages were Christian, 34% CofE.

In 2010, 31% of all marriages were Christian, 24% CofE.

"celebrated the ordination of more than 5,000 new priests"

Ordinations seem more or less stable, but are not at replacement level. So every year there is an overall decline in the number of priests.

"While 253 churches closed over the past decade, 1,000 new congregations were started through the Fresh Expressions initiative."

The stats say that these initiatives mean 30,000 people participating who otherwise would not.

However, average weekly attendance (including at funerals and weddings, where even atheists might be found!), monthly attendance, Sunday attendance, Easter attendance, and Christmas attendance all fell over the years 2000-2010.

12 December 2012 12:59  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 December 2012 13:00  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Naomi King,
I have admired your comments over time and was intrigued by your shift towards UKIP. I do not blame you for wanting to disassociate yourself from the Conservative Party but I do not believe that UKIP is offering any more stability in the long term for moral thinking Christians since the foundations of the party are based in one policy. At the present they may seem to offer the overall best options but no guarantees for the future.
I have previously said that I would like to see a socially aware conservative party based on INTEGRITY. Its foundational principles would be unchangeable and applicable to all elected members.

12 December 2012 13:29  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

The link for this comment was effaced so I am repeating it here without the arrowheads:-

http://familywatchinternational.org/fwi/eu_resolution.cfm

In a few days the EU is going to hear and probably pass legislation making any argument on the conservative and Christian side of these moral issues illegal.
As you know, the socialists, liberals and Greens have in past
weeks blocked the nomination of a Roman Catholic, Dr Tony Borg, as an
EU commissioner, because he is a Christian. They assert that this is
against "European values". Their idea of European values is the
extreme of LGBT craziness.
You can read a copy of FWI’s letter to key committee chairmen on the Borg nomination

here.
Now the same activists are pushing through new legislation designed to
impose a strait-jacket on all the nations of the EU, and remove moral
freedom.
Essentially, it is a programme for the persecution
of Christians in particular, and of all those who refuse to approve,
participate in and support the amoral anti-family sexual agenda.

Radical EU Resolution Must be Stopped!


No matter where you live, we are urging you to help us stop the
European Parliament (EP) from advancing a dangerous measure disguised as a resolution on fundamental rights.

This motion will be debated Tuesday evening and voted on by all EP Members on Wednesday morning. As noted below, we have a simple,
one-click
method to send a quick email to 52 key leaders in the European
Parliament. PLEASE DO IT NOW. PLEASE SHARE THIS WIDELY. SEND IT TO YOUR FRIENDS and PROTEST TO YOUR MEPs

The following are specific serious problems with the resolution:

* Requires Member States to criminalize and characterize opinions against homosexuality as “hate speech” and calls for an expansion of criminal offences to include expressions based on
“homophobic or transphobic intent.” This would mean that people such as Adrian Smith (who recently got demoted for his job by saying on Facebook that he disagreed with same-sex marriage) could from next Wednesday be sent to PRISON for his views.
* Demands the legalization of same-sex marriage and abortions where not already legal. (Abortion is a competency of Member States, not European Union (EU) law, and thus not the European Parliament.

* Encourages "liberalizing" laws regulating comprehensive sexuality education. (
Click here to see the serious problems with this kind of education.)
This means that children will be taught that they have a "right to
sex" at any age, and subjected to the sort of material found on the
websites of the Terrence Higgins Trust. If you thought this was only
on hard-core porn sites, think again - it is now being pushed at our children as "sex-ed".

* Calls on Member States to protect “the freedom of those without a religion not to suffer discrimination as a result of excessive exemptions for religions from laws on equality and
non-discrimination.” IN OTHER WORDS SCRAP ANY PROTECTION FOR FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE.
Act now or have it on your conscience for the rest of your life.

12 December 2012 14:00  
Blogger John Henson said...

Rev Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Archbishop’s Council said “ ... Obviously the fall in those choosing to identify themselves as Christians is a challenge... "

If the CofE had fewer clergy faffing around in office jobs and got them out preaching the Gospel perhaps it would be better placed to face the challenge.

I understand that the Diocese of Oxford has two "organ advisers". What a waste of time and money!

12 December 2012 14:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Religious nominalism is not the same thing as genuine faith. A country possessing a population of genuine Christian faith would look and act much differently. It is cultural inertia that drives a large portion of Christian self-identification. As the social costs increase, and the social benefits decrease, you will see continued erosion. People will keep drifting into a soft deism, or a functional agnosticism - at least until the money runs out.

And the money is running out. What happens then is the big question. It won't be recognizably Christian. It won't be soft and it won't be agnostic. It will distinctly hard, and angry.

carl

12 December 2012 14:16  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Mr Integrity

Yes UKIP used to be a one issue party but no longer thanks to Mr Cameron and in any event if you look at Julia's comment above you will see that the two issue run in tandem. The EU is a fundamentally atheistic socialistic, super state equally damaging if not more so to family life and Godly values. Do please register your protest to their latest affront to civilised, life and freedoms.

http://familywatchinternational.org/fwi/eu_resolution.cfm

12 December 2012 14:53  
Blogger Naomi King said...



The proposed resolution would encourage Member States to remove restrictions on sexuality education; criminalize and characterize opinions against homosexuality as “hate speech”; and legalize same-sex marriage and abortions (where not already done by Member States). These provisions raise the following problems:

Sexuality education, as defined by the NGOs and others who push the program at the UN, sexualizes and strips children of their innocence. This program contradicts the prior fundamental right of parents “to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Universal Declaration, Article 26(3) (1948).

Abortion is a competency of Member States, not European Union (EU) law, and thus the EU Parliament should not interfere in the matter through the proposed resolution.

In addition to calling for an inappropriate expansion of criminal offences to include expressions based on “homophobic or transphobic intent,” the proposed resolution calls on Member States to protect “the freedom of those without a religion not to suffer discrimination as a result of excessive exemptions for religions from laws on equality and non-discrimination.” If Member States followed such guidance, they could easily undermine the fundamental rights to freedom of expression and religion guaranteed by Articles 10 and 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The proposed resolution also raises significant separation of powers concerns, as it calls on the EU judiciary that defines human rights “to facilitate third-party interventions, by human rights NGOs in particular.” Excessive intervention in judicial proceedings by human rights NGOs such as the ones that helped draft this provision, some of which are heavily funded by the EC, undermines the independence of the EU judiciary. In fact, the proposed resolution also calls for a “permanent scoreboard on justice.”

12 December 2012 14:57  
Blogger Tommy said...

Yes, the Jews were very religious to and what did Jesus say about them. Being religious does not save you, going to church and singing hymns believing in God does not save you, living what you term a good life does not save you, Jesus saves you when you genuinely repent of your sins and put your faith in Him and you leave behind the life of sin and ignorance of His will for your life and seek to walk with Him daily. You must be born from above or as modern bibles say born again as you were born wrong the first time, claiming we are a faithful nation does nothing, there is nothing good about removing Christ from our daily lives, making legal things that His word condemns,corruption in high places, low morals, anti semetism against His brothers. we are a nation fit for judgement unless we repent and turn back to Him, pay for our leaders and our people, pray for every town and village to be touched by the Holy Spirit, for the people to return to the Lord an dlove righteousness.

12 December 2012 16:00  
Blogger Jon said...

Mr Jacobs, I agree with you to a certain extent.

I don't think that these numbers can be interpreted as some kind of body politic - a "moral majority" for Ms King or Ms Gasper to rally to a given cause (however vehement their cries). After all, the Church can't have it both ways - 30 million strong and victimised by the bullying 5,000 atheists, or declining attendance of old ladies in need of aid to keep up medieval facades (of the Churches, not the old ladies! ;-))

The simple fact is that for many people (myself included I suppose) CoE membership comes with the passport. I went to a CoE school, and the CoE has ingratiated itself into the fabric of my life in a way I don't resent at all (although as I said earlier, I'm not sure it's really very healthy for the Church or State any more).

There are likely millions like me, most of whom could tick "Christian" on the census form with no more than a passing thought about what that means. Profession of faith by census (as opposed to confession of faith for itself) is a double edged sword for the Church, which I suspect was behind His Grace's urgings to ignore the question in the first place.

12 December 2012 16:07  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace: ". . . whilst the National Secular Society has an estimated 5,000 – the same as the British Sausage Appreciation Society.” :)


Meanwhile, can no one rid us of that vile shameron's face? btw ... is he whipping all these issues through?

12 December 2012 16:17  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

The Union of Catholic Mothers

God bless them.


12 December 2012 16:58  
Blogger Naomi King said...


From Conservative Home today

...and Ukip spot an opportunity

"Amid signs that Conservative associations are losing members in their droves over what is being dubbed the prime minister's 'clause IV moment', the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, warned that gay marriage could 'rip apart' the Conservative party. He plans to put the issue at the heart of Ukip's campaign for the 2014 European parliamentary elections." - Guardian

http://conservativehome.blogs.com

12 December 2012 16:59  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Government whips claim that 40% of the Tory party's 303 MPs will not support the proposals when MPs vote on the legislation next year. It will be passed only with the support of Labour and Lib Dem MPs.

Tory MPs will be given a free vote, allowing at least three cabinet ministers to vote against the change. Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, David Jones, the Wales secretary, and Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, have all voiced concerns. Duncan Smith does not agree with gay marriage, but he believes he needs to tread with care because, as a former Tory leader, he needs to show particular sensitivity.

The Church of England made clear that the concession from the government did not go far enough.

The Rev Tim Stephens, the Bishop of Leicester, said it was "most troubling that the government and opposition have together in their proceeding with this measure led to division, not only within the country where polls consistently show more than half the population are against this change, but also between the political class and the vast majority of practicing religious people".

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, and Archbishop Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Southwark, said opponents of gay marriage should lobby MPs "clearly, calmly and forcefully, and without impugning the motives of others". They said: "The meaning of marriage matters. It derives that meaning from its function as the foundation of the family."

The main group campaigning against the change – the Coalition for Marriage – will win over more Tory MPs by warning that the issue could be what it is describing as Cameron's "Iraq moment". A source in the group said: "Tony Blair needed the support of Tory MPs to win the Iraq vote after 139 Labour MPs rebelled. It did lasting damage to his authority which he never recovered."

12 December 2012 17:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jon

Profession of faith by census (as opposed to confession of faith for itself) is a double edged sword for the Church, which I suspect was behind His Grace's urgings to ignore the question in the first place.

That is a reasonable inference, but it would likely motivate only those who wanted to highlite the difference between Profession of faith by census and confession of faith for itself. In other words, it would only motivate committed believers to decline to self-identify. That seems self-defeating to the assumed purpose.

Another possible motive might be this. "Why does the Gov't need to know?" The Gov't collects vast amounts of statistical data when all it really needs is a head count.

carl

12 December 2012 17:47  
Blogger Tony B said...

Can no thread be free from talk of SSM?

Only the C of E could crow about the 72% figure from 2001 and then crow about a drop of 13% as well. What a fatuous response.

12 December 2012 17:50  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

I'm not worried by the drop. The liberal section of the church is dying, but in most cases they aren't recognisably Christian anyway, so it seems all very 1 John 2:19. In terms of demographics, all we evangelicals have to do is wait...

12 December 2012 18:36  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

"the National Secular Society has an estimated 5,000 – the same as the British Sausage Appreciation Society."

... which just goes to show who much influence a small group of committed of people can have ... or not!

PS I know SSM is important but isn't Naomi King a bit off topic? Or is it just me?

12 December 2012 18:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

She only has one topic, bless her.

12 December 2012 18:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



“Stand up, Stand up, for Jesus”

Not just one of the Inspector’s favourite hymn’s but also the answer one would give to any of the increasingly lost souls in this country who would say to a fellow “Here I am on this earth. I have no purpose, no direction. Can you tell me what to do and point the way forward”.

You can stand up for Jesus by completing the ‘religion box’ on the census form. If you want to continue to live in a Christian majority country, you have to announce yourself as one. If you don’t, some fellow will come along and say “There aren’t 33 million of you in this country, just 3.3 million. And society wouldn’t and shouldn’t go out of it’s way to accommodate your needs, far too few of you”. And do you know what, he’d have a point !

Of course, if you are the damn flavour of the month it can be different. Apparently, even though there are just a few thousand militant homosexuals in this country, the blasted moon, or even other peoples children could be theirs. All they have to do is to whine for it, and throw in a few lying bleats about discrimination, hatred and bigotry for good measure.

Oh yes, you will need a badly principled vote losing foolish arse of a prime minister batting for you too…

Lecture over, stand easy. NOT you Cameron, wait in the yard and reflect…





12 December 2012 19:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

hmmm Those who ticked the Christian box on the census aren’t Christian enough then.

Wry smiles all round fellow Catholics, what !

You protestants ! Divisive to the very end – aren’t you ?





12 December 2012 19:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Aren't there supposed to be about 5 million self-identifying Catholics in England and Wales according to census data but only about 1 in 5 can be bothered to attend mass once a week? Or have I misremembered those stats?

12 December 2012 19:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

And isn't it a strong obligation for Catholics to do so?

12 December 2012 19:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

On the subject of UKIP, the Inspector was rather hoping he would be dust before this country became minority white British. Apparently not. Another couple of decades of open borders and the marvellous policy of mass immigration - whether black white yellow or brown, should see to that. Listening to the radio today, he has been informed that he would not be eating foreign food on his occasional night out where it not for millions of Blacks and Asians and Chinese over here.

Really !

The commentator didn’t trouble himself to give anymore more positive examples of multiculturalism. Call the Inspector cynical but he thinks you’d be hard put to find anything worthwhile these days. We can no longer thank them for their cheap labour, thanks to employment laws. We certainly can’t thank them for their, er, let’s call them ‘customs’, as many of them are caustic to us, and indeed also to the very people who brought them over.

One of the less attractive immigration modus operandi is that of the sub-continent arranged bride-cousin disgrace. If these people want to continue the genetically crazy idea of ‘rolling your own’ perhaps they could leave the UK and settle over there, and not come back. We have enough cases of inbreeding causing illness and disability to keep our own medical types busy for years as it is…

UKIP seems a lot more necessary now, doesn’t it…

12 December 2012 19:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJo. Isn’t there several hundred thousand homosexuals in the country, but only a few of them can be arsed (sic) to get themselves down to a gay club at least once a year, including YOU if you are to be believed.

Anyway, your point is ?


12 December 2012 19:23  
Blogger Tony B said...

Danj0- I'm pretty sure Catholics are supposed to attend mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. As a youth I did this and more, I was an altar boy you know.

12 December 2012 19:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I thought so myself. Less regimented forms of Christianity might include 'off radar' cell churches etc but the numbers ought to mean something in this case.

12 December 2012 19:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Of course, it’s plain to see. You are implying that gay activists are fighting the cause for ALL homosexual people whereas Christians are doing their bit only for those who attend church regularly...

You damn twister !

What a blasted nerve you have, you must think all who read this blog are idiots !



12 December 2012 19:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I plead the 5th.

12 December 2012 19:39  
Blogger Tony B said...

The church might be able to attract a decent proportion of that 25% of non religious persons, most of whom are probably not dyed in the wool atheists, by firstly not patronising them with references to sausage appreciation, and secondly by not presenting itself as a homophobic and mysogynistic irrelevance. Oh well.

12 December 2012 19:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

How many Civil Partnerships performed per year. 2,500 ? And of this lot, we can be assured that much less than 100% will seek plastic marriage. And we’ll be generous on this occasion, and assume that those figures don’t include people who were CP’ed earlier - You know how gays like to swap partners. This is proved by the amount of disease they transmit within their community.

2,500 ! Even after 5 years, there are individual housing estates with a greater number.

Cameron has to go...

12 December 2012 20:14  
Blogger Tony B said...

Inspector. If the numbers involved are small and irrelevant, then assuming it is genuinely a "problem" rather than merely a difference, it's not a very big problem, is it? Perhaps there are more important things to worry about?

12 December 2012 20:33  
Blogger bluedog said...

Tony B @ 20.33 says/asks, 'it's not a very big problem, is it?'

So why are we bothering to indulge the demand at all?

12 December 2012 20:47  
Blogger bluedog said...

Flossie @ 12.02 asks, 'How does one get to join the Sausage Appreciation Society?'

Dunno.

Maybe ask Carl Jacobs?

12 December 2012 20:49  
Blogger Tony B said...

@bluedog - why not? It's not keeping me awake at night.

12 December 2012 21:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

There were about 8500 Roman Catholic weddings in England and Wales in 2010, and about 5800 civil partnerships.

12 December 2012 22:05  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Tony B: The church might be able to attract a decent proportion of that 25% of non religious persons, most of whom are probably not dyed in the wool atheists, by firstly not patronising them with references to sausage appreciation, and secondly by not presenting itself as a homophobic and mysogynistic irrelevance. Oh well.

I agree about the sausage appreciation, but on the other score you're precisely wrong. It is evangelical (especially conservative evangelical) churches which you would undoubtedly claim are homophobic for their moral disapproval of gay sex (or indeed any sex outside of marriage, which is between a man and a woman) and misogynistic for their belief that men are the head of the household and are the proper people to lead the church as its pastors, which are experiencing the fastest growth.

You see, it's when churches start saying what the world around them says that they begin bleeding numbers.

12 December 2012 22:59  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 December 2012 22:59  
Blogger bluedog said...

Tony B @ 21.24, in this instance 'why not?' ignores the underlying issues which have been well-explored and debated, scarcely requiring further recital.

Breaking news. The British government has chosen to manipulate and falsify the figures in its own 'Consultation' on SSM, favouring the proposal. This communicant believes HM Government should not be allowed to introduce and pass legislation on the basis of flagrantly dishonest practice.

If you are in the same camp as the British government in this regard, so be it.

12 December 2012 23:01  
Blogger William said...

Tony B says

"why not?"

because the definition of marriage is already optimal for the married couple, their family and society. Broadening the definition would dilute key aspects of marriage, such as the unique value of stable heterosexual relationships.

because heterosexual relationships are not the same as homosexual ones so why should they both be called marriage?

because married people don't want their marriages redefined.

because it's a bad idea to impose unmandated policies for political gain.

because the reasons for saying that a man can be married to another man or a woman another woman are either lies, have nothing to do with marriage, are really lame or a combination of all three. Here's a list of reasons for redefining marriage I have collected so far:

- It's the conservative thing to do.
- Marriage is a breach of human and/or civil rights.
- It will stop religious people asserting themselves.
- It will help someone's friend get into the country.
- It will be a nice "upgrade" from a civil partnership.
- Civil partnerships are embarassing.
- Homosexual relationships are equivalent to heterosexual ones.
- Civil marriage is not the same as religious marriage.
- It will be good for institutionalised children.
- Children do just as well (in some cases better) when there is no mother or father figure.

12 December 2012 23:17  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

It all makes sense now. Gay marriage, and Marijuana being legalized on the same day. Leviticus 20:13 If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned. We have been interpreting it wrong all these years. !!!!

13 December 2012 01:16  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Interesting, your refusal to check-mark the religion box in the census, Your Grace. I approve. Perhaps you'll share with us your own...and no doubt quite peculiar... reasons one day. Not that it's any of our bloody business, of course.

The Canadian census requires information on one's religious affiliation at the pain of prosecurion under the law, so I dutifully fill-in the space. I have learned that leaving a blank on the questionaire gets us incessant phone calls and census workers knocking at the door and offering to help with the forms. So, last time I was a Mahayana Crypto-Buddhist, the time before an excommunicated, but penitent Reformed Knight Templar and before that, on a day I was feeling quite cocky, a Buggeroff...my own anglo-slavic version of a buggaro, the medieval Italian vernacular for an adherent to the Bulgar Heresies. Yes, I scribbled-in an explanation in the form's margins. And not a peep from our masters, although I imagine my declaration have generated a meeting or two with the in-house solicitors oer the years. But what could they say? That I can't change religions or that I can't temporarily adopt a different one every time the sensus rolls around? That I must be serious and can't register fleeting, wistful and brief imaginary or intentionally deceptive affiliations? Will they wire my house and record us as we sing Shalom Aleihem (off-key and with no rhythm)on Friday nights, or will they produce as evidence grainy telephoto pics of us walking to the synagogue through hail and sleet Saturday mornings? Methinks not likely, YG.

There are many good reasons to answer such census questions correctly, I've been told. Something about distributing funds for this and that. Whatever. But none of them trump my reason: I want the self-declared secular state to bugger-off from my spiritual life and identity and to concentrate on its job of managing the country.

13 December 2012 01:56  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Marie, 01:16... LOL!

13 December 2012 02:01  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

DanJ0

Your lines of 'atack' are becoming quite tiresome.

Because there is more than one faith in a God, they must all be wrong. Poor reasoning, I'm sure you'll agree.

And now, because not all Catholics attend Mass each week the Catholic belief system is somehow flawed. Again poor reasoning.

And you never state what your moral or ethical system rests upon. You can't because it all depends on the situation and circumstances. You actually don't have one. Previous threads show you avoiding these questions.

13 December 2012 03:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, if you find my comments tiresome then I suggest you simply don't read them.

Responding to your three points:

In the first case, you have misundestood the argument. It is usually about false dichotomies. I have always said one theist systen may be true, just that I think it very unlikely indeed.

In the second case, you have misundstood the argment. It says nothing about the validity of the Roman Catholic belief system, it just undermines the new census figure in response to the Inspector's comments here and on another thread.

In the third case, I wrote a long and relatively formal explanation of its form not that long ago. You clearly didn't follow it at the time, and you tried to derail the debate from the sidelines.

Your past claims that I am amoral have always been patently wrong. Your recent and slightly more oblique attempt to label me a Utilitarian is also completely unsupportable. You just don't get it, I'm afraid.

Moreover, I told you to get lost only the other day on this point as it looked to me like you were just trying to cause trouble with me and yet here you are again trying to square up With it.

13 December 2012 05:07  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 December 2012 05:17  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Wiliam
"It will help someone's friend get into the country"
In recent years more and more immigration restrictions have been placed on British citizens who have foreign spouses (from outside the EU) from bringing their wives to live in Britain.
Inspector
Many Anglo-Indians are Catholics but many of them haven't been allowed to live in Britain.Well I supposed Australia is better.

13 December 2012 05:21  
Blogger Tony B said...

John Magee - why not also add in the non-christians who were baptised? Soon you'll end up with more Christians than there are people.

13 December 2012 07:28  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

The British Sausage Appreciation Society??????

Are you sure you have that right Your Grace? Don't you mean Stonewall

13 December 2012 09:04  
Blogger David B said...

Perhaps off topic for this thread, but very much on topic for the emphasis on free speech which HG is noted for, comes the welcome news that the joint approach of the NSS and the Christian Institute to the HoL has resulted in the Lords coming down in favour of removing the word 'insulting' from the Public Order Act.

Credit is due to all three organisations in this particular case.

David

13 December 2012 10:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The UK population is about 63 million now, probably more as some will be 'off radar' for various reasons.

13 December 2012 11:03  
Blogger William said...

David B

Good news!

13 December 2012 11:08  
Blogger Tony B said...

@bluedog unfortunately " flagrantly dishonest practice" and " politics" are as good as synonymous. If legislation based on flagrantly dishonest practice were not allowed, virtually none would be passed.

The only objections I have ever heard to same sex marriage have been entirely bogus in my view, but it's probable that I haven't heard them all. A middle aged man (often unmarried and wearing a frock, ironically) repeating "marriage is between a man and a woman" ad nauseam does not a persuasive argument make.

13 December 2012 11:12  
Blogger Tony B said...

William. I don't see any force in any of those arguments.

1. I don't see that SSM would dilute anything, and I don't think there's anything uniquely stable about married versus unmarried hetero relationships.

2. My previous answer, why not, seems to have this covered

3. How are existing marriages " redefined"? Absolute cobblers.

4. I agree with that, but it's not an argument against SSM per se.

5. I've never heard most of these arguments and I suspect you made most of them up.

13 December 2012 11:24  
Blogger Tony B said...

Thomas. I don't think I ever came across a church that " said what the world around it was saying" and that would indeed be pointless to a certain extent. It would be interesting to know where the growth in evangelical churches is coming from, I suspect it isn't from hordes of non religious folk seeing the light, since this group has also grown, and since this is the group i was talking about, we are taking slightly past each other.

What I will say is that evangelical churches (one in particular) that I have come into contact with are very obviously vibrant and thriving communities where there is always something going on, and on that basis have a great appeal for me. I will struggle to sign up to many of their beliefs, however. They do at least engage with the world around them, however, whereas " ordinary" C of E churches, Catholic Churches, etc just seem to keep themselves to themselves.

13 December 2012 11:43  
Blogger William said...

Tony B

"3. How are existing marriages " redefined"? Absolute cobblers."

There is only one definition of marriage. If that is changed it will be changed for all marriages.

"5. I've never heard most of these arguments and I suspect you made most of them up."

I can understand your incredulity.

13 December 2012 11:57  
Blogger Tony B said...

>There is only one definition of marriage. If that is changed it will be changed for all marriages

The definition of marriage may change. But that will not alter any existing marriage in any meaningful way at all.

13 December 2012 12:07  
Blogger Brian West said...

Tony B

If they redefine marriage they are saying that I might just as well be married to a man, which I find deeply offensive. Of course if they change the definition of marriage they have changed the meaning of marriage.

Brian

13 December 2012 12:15  
Blogger William said...

Tony B

"The definition of marriage may change. But that will not alter any existing marriage in any meaningful way at all."

Before:

If I say "I am married", it means I have a wife.

After:

If I say "I am married", it doesn't mean I have a wife.

What has changed?

13 December 2012 12:21  
Blogger David B said...

Tony B

But some random person says 'I am married' it means they have a husband or a wife.

No change there!

David

13 December 2012 12:42  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Brian West,
Quite right. Re-defining marriage will change th meaning of marriage.
On the registry there will be no way of telling which the bride is and which the groom is.
The Daily Mail Editorial today said that the PM had acted on a sincere belief that gays should not be discriminated against. Surely we are all discriminated against in that all minorities do not get what they want when you have democracy, but here, heterosexual marriages will lose out because of a very small minority who do already have the equivalent of marriage. They just want to be belligerent. Nothing to do with equality. The Ugly Vicar put it well in his maths lesson for Cameron Blog; Man + Woman=Marriage. Man + Man or Woman + Woman ≠ Marriage.

13 December 2012 12:44  
Blogger Tony B said...

William,

Absolutely nothing has changed. You are still married to woman.

13 December 2012 12:48  
Blogger Tony B said...

Brian West

I think that is your problem.

13 December 2012 12:49  
Blogger Tony B said...

Mr integrity - what exactly will heterosexual marriages "lose out" on?

13 December 2012 12:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Brian: "If they redefine marriage they are saying that I might just as well be married to a man, which I find deeply offensive."

There are positives, you know. For example, there is no nagging about putting up shelves and stuff. One can just say "do it yourself" to another man.

13 December 2012 12:54  
Blogger William said...

DavI'd B

Only if you remove their gender.

13 December 2012 13:01  
Blogger Tony B said...

Danj0 - :-)

13 December 2012 13:01  
Blogger Tony B said...

If your only even slightly cogent argument, William, is that you might have to slighty rephrase certain sentences, then I think you need to find better arguments pretty sharpish.

13 December 2012 13:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I always refer to the partners of others, such as colleagues, as "partners" anyway. It's none of my business whether they are actually married or not. Similarly, if someone is in a same-sex marriage then it shouldn't matter at work when someone says "bring your partners" whether a female member of staff brings a woman along.

13 December 2012 13:06  
Blogger Tony B said...

Danj0 . oh, the horror! I can barely contain my vaguely paranoid ramblings p, etc etc.

13 December 2012 13:26  
Blogger Tony B said...

Sorry about the random 'p'

13 December 2012 13:26  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Tony B: Thomas. I don't think I ever came across a church that " said what the world around it was saying" and that would indeed be pointless to a certain extent. It would be interesting to know where the growth in evangelical churches is coming from, I suspect it isn't from hordes of non religious folk seeing the light, since this group has also grown, and since this is the group i was talking about, we are taking slightly past each other.

Well as you can imagine the statistics are simply not detailed enough to tell us that, so I can only speak from my experience. I have seen various people come to faith in Christ at my evangelical church at home and at university. Some were long term sceptics, some had little opinion about things religious, some had long been interested in investigating Christianity. Their ages have ranged from around 14 to late 40s. So I think it's fair to say there's a mixture.

I'm glad that your experience with evangelical churches has been good. I suppose that everyone at first finds many of the teachings of the Bible difficult to accept, although I think which ones vary by culture and time. Nonetheless, the hope for me is that people can accept the central claims of Christianity such as the resurrection of Christ and His coming return as a basis for faith in God, and then work the less central things out over time as they're taught from the Bible and seek to submit to its teaching.

13 December 2012 15:05  
Blogger Mr. Mcgranor said...

The Jewish ethic that being merely 'religious'; rather then atheist--is better, needs to be understood and rejected.

13 December 2012 15:50  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 December 2012 16:21  
Blogger Mr. Mcgranor said...

Also grouping Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox into one indifferent and erroneous blob is not correct.

13 December 2012 17:31  
Blogger len said...

A'Christian'can just be someone who 'tick' a box...someone who attends Church,...someone with an intellectual grasp of Christian theology....

We should really rely on the Words of Jesus Christ to define 'a Christian' and not the assumptions of man as to the true definition of a Christian.

Nicodemus A 'very religious' person asked Jesus this very same question
What must he do to be a Christian?.

John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.

(This is of course involves water baptism as an adult following repentance of which an infant is incapable)

Religion will not save you, church attendance will not save you, 'trying to be good', will not save you.
So by Jesus`s definition many who call themselves' Christian' are not Christians in the true sense of the word.

Of course the same could be said of Atheists because they only remain so as long as they are encompassed by the darkness there is hope that they may become en- lightened by revelation by the Holy Spirit if they have not totally closed their minds.

13 December 2012 19:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ignore Len.

The born again business is about leaving your previous beliefs and adhering to his teachings, ie Christianity. Mind, some people who read the bible and wag their finger at others are so thick they don’t realise this...

13 December 2012 19:48  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Tony B @ 11.12, your views are too vexatiously cynical to be taken seriously.

Democratic politics is an exercise in accountability, and to assert that '" flagrantly dishonest practice" and " politics" are as good as synonymous' is risible. What is not risible is that the Culture Secretary, acting in collusion with the PM has manipulated and misreported the extent of opposition to SSM in a recent government 'Consultation'. Fortunately this dishonesty seems to have so appalled some knowledgeable parties that the information has been leaked to the press. Accountability in practice.

You say, 'The only objections I have ever heard to same sex marriage have been entirely bogus in my view.'

Just re-write that sentence deleting 'objections' and replacing with 'reasons' and you get the majority opinion. If you can't understand why a childless union between two men or two women is different to the union of a man and a woman that creates a family, you face serious challenges.

Here's a prediction. If David Cameron is foolish enough to ram through legislation in favour of SSM you will see the people of Britain turn against the perpetrators and the beneficiaries in utter fury, once the implications are fully understood.

Ultimately the same revulsion will spread through every other Western nation where the political elite have bullied the populace in to accepting SSM.

You may then see some objections that even you will recognise as not being bogus.

13 December 2012 20:00  
Blogger Tony B said...

@blue dog. Here's another prediction. Nothing of the sort will occur.

13 December 2012 20:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm with Tony B. People will just get on with their lives as normal. Most people won't give a hoot. It will cause about as much of a wave as civil partnerships did. People are much more interested in what happens on the X Factor or The Apprentice every week.

13 December 2012 21:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

However, we may see Stephen Green and a handful of woolly jumpers making a noise and waving a placard around one Saturday in Cardiff. Possibly.

13 December 2012 21:47  
Blogger John Magee said...

DAN JO

You are correct.

I gave incorrectly gave the 2001 population census for the UK which I listed in my first post as 58,789,194. The 2012 estimated census for the UK is 62,200,000.

The rest of my post was accurate.

13 December 2012 21:52  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Well, for the record, I sat in my Lord's study for some time pondering what to put down in the religious affiliation section. Of course it goes without saying that I am a firm Anglican and supporter of my Lord's church, but I thought, 'Bugger me, I am not going to tell this atheistic state anything about my beliefs.' Consequently, I wrote 'None of your business' in the box in my neatest copperplate. I can't speak for Mr Slope - who can?

13 December 2012 22:04  
Blogger Matt A said...

Inspector: That is not quite what "born again" means, but hey, lets not argue over that one again.

13 December 2012 22:43  
Blogger bluedog said...

Messrs Tony B @ 20.06 and DanJO @ 21.47, you ignore a critical demographic, women between the ages of 25 and 42; call them Mothers.

Currently they are probably evenly divided on SSM. But once the Terrence Higgins Trust and Stonewall have finished sprinkling homosexual glitter through the school curriculum, watch out. These women will fight to the death to prevent their children being groomed and corrupted by homosexual propaganda.

Once the mothers of Britain turn against you, the underlying arithmetical weakness of the homosexual position will exert its leverage. If 1.5% of the population is homosexual, the heterosexuals out number you 65 to 1. Even if you add in electoral support for homosexuals from parents, siblings and friends, its hard to see the homosexual position supported by any more than 12.5% of the electorate. So the best you may be able to muster is odds of 8 to 1 against. That's why Cameron needs to falsify the numbers.

It merely requires a catalyst, and sentiment will turn overwhelmingly against the homosexual drive to redefine society on their terms.

Cameron is the fool who has put the Conservative Party on a collision course with the mothers of Britain. Without doubt, the man is the best recruiting sargent that UKIP could ever wish for. They must be praying that he stays on as PM until 2015.

13 December 2012 22:51  
Blogger Tony B said...

@blue dog I think you're wrong. And I find it interesting that you appear to have assumed I'm gay. Interesting as in " funny".

13 December 2012 23:01  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Avi

"The Canadian census requires information on one's religious affiliation at the pain of prosecution under the law"

Not good....

When I read about "freedoms" in Canada and say Sweden, we can catch a glimpse into the next stage in our Orwellian future.

Phil





13 December 2012 23:55  
Blogger bluedog said...

Relax, relax, Tony B @ 23.01, you have previously stated you are not homosexual; easy enough to remember who's who in the zoo. However your position appears seamlessly aligned with that of DanJO. You can therefore be considered in terms of political shorthand as 'homosexual'.

Now you just keep ignoring the arithmetic until you hit the stonewall.

13 December 2012 23:56  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Naomi

I just want to say....

Your posts are really helpful.

I really liked some of the video links


Phil

14 December 2012 00:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Phil,

Not good, indeed. We get the short form census and occasionally the long form, which asks 49 pages worth of questions. Fortunately, the Conservative government made it voluntary, to the great disappointment of academics, social workers, marketing agencies and NGOs. Imagine, a free database on district by district socio-economic factoids. From a critical article in our Financial Post:

...the government forces Canadians to disclose a host of information about their private lives such as what languages they speak on a regular basis; whether they are White, Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino or a host of other ethnicities; where they work; how they get to work (i.e. bike, car, walk, taxi); what language they speak on the job; how much housework they do; how much time they spend playing with their kids or talking to their elders; whether or not they have any difficulty walking, climbing stairs, or bending; which member of the household pays the rent or mortgage; how many rooms their homes have (and how many are bedrooms); and whether or not their homes have any “missing or loose floor tiles,” “defective steps” or more major deficiencies like “defective plumbing.”

I never got the long form (it's issued occasionally and randomly), and would have, as with the short one, made up absurd and obvious lies about any question I didn't like. Oddly enough, the census workers only bugged me when I left a section blank and never about the ludicrous whoppers.

14 December 2012 00:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr. Mcgranor, said,
"The Jewish ethic that being merely 'religious'; rather then atheist--is better, needs to be understood and rejected." (15:50)

Huh? Not sure what you mean and how you concluded whatever you think you mean, but go ahead, knock yourself out; understand and reject away to your heart's content. No one's asked you to accept the "Jewish ethic."


Mrs Proudie!!!!

I'm shocked, Ma'am, shocked at your "b----r me!" comment (22:04). Now, me, I'm a crude rascal with a truck and one who never managed a Copperplate without splaying the nib and splattering India ink all over my shirt and thus, I'm allowed to utter such crudities at will and with gusto. Nay, as a member of the working class I'm even expected to do so and come to think if it, it is my right and proviledge by custom, but you Ma'am, no. You are required to keep to the forms. Otherwise, all social order crumbles and chaos ensues, leading to, well, something like what we have now but worse. And don't you even think of replying with a "b---er off" to me! Other than that, congrats on your defiance, Ma'am; those horrid snoops at the posh guv'mint offices have no right to your spiritual identity.

14 December 2012 02:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Bluedog, I'd be bothered by children being 'groomed' and 'corrupted' too. In fact, I am now. That includes it happening by religious organisations too, of course. I'm not in the least bit bothered by what I'd call 'relationship awareness' being included in the classroom in an age-appropriate way though. Similarly with 'religious awareness' or 'ethnicity awareness' or 'disability awareness'.

14 December 2012 04:39  
Blogger Tony B said...

I wonder how long it will be before those people who habitually complain that we are a "Godless nation", but are now saying we're a faithful one, will go back to saying we are "Godless" again?

14 December 2012 09:14  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! My sincere apologies Mr Barzel for my moment of intemperance. All I can say is my stays were killing me - not easy wearing a crinoline in 2012...

14 December 2012 09:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr DanJO @ 04.39 said, ' I'd be bothered by children being 'groomed' and 'corrupted' too. In fact, I am now. That includes it happening by religious organisations too'.

This communicant is encouraged to learn that we can agree on the potential risks to the innocent posed by the activities of homosexual clergy.

14 December 2012 11:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Gulp. Information? What information, Mr Johnson? No information here to be had, Sir; we be just jivin'. Alright, it's all His Grace's fault; he misled us with sweet, but seditious words, heated up our simple minds and deviously led us, like a gaggle of trusting little ducklings, right into this Latter Day Doomsday Book Revolt of his. I'm an orphan. Methinks I'll keep your calling card, if you can spare one.

Think nothing of it, Mrs Proudie. Not easy wearing stays in the 1800s either, but at least they didn't have all those customs people claiming to want to inspect your person for illegal whale bone.

14 December 2012 11:17  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...



Welcome back, my good man.

I must point out that amongst the collective noun for a group of ducks. of which there are several, a 'gaggle' is not included.

They are a:
balding of ducks - ducks on the ground;
paddling, team or raft of ducks - ducks in the water; and, my favourite, a
flush of ducks

Happy paddling!

14 December 2012 13:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Bluedog: "This communicant is encouraged to learn that we can agree on the potential risks to the innocent posed by the activities of homosexual clergy."

I was talking about grooming of children by religious organisations to create the next generation of the deluded in order to keep the whole thing going, of course. Naturally, I take a dim view of any clergy or lay people inclined to sexually, physically, or mentally abuse children for whatever reason, too. It just goes to show that having a religion doesn't seem to provide much of a moral restraint for some people ... but of course that hardly news to most of us, is it?

14 December 2012 18:18  
Blogger Tony B said...

Jimmy Savile

14 December 2012 18:21  
Blogger Tony B said...

It's funny isn't it, that when male clergy/ religious men etc abuse male children the problem is that they are homosexuals. If they abuse girls however, this is never blamed on their heterosexuality...a bit odd that isn't it bluedog?

14 December 2012 18:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Naturally, I take a dim view of any clergy or lay people inclined to sexually, physically, or mentally abuse children for whatever reason, too. It just goes to show that having a religion doesn't seem to provide much of a moral restraint for some people ... but of course that hardly news to most of us, is it?

The only sexually, physical or mental abuse of children this man knows about by the religious was that perpetrated by homosexuals in the clergy. If you know better, do tell, but examples please. A general contempt of the Inspector’s reasoning is worth jack...

Tony B. The occurrence of sexual abuse of young girls by the clergy is so rare that each occasion is virtually a one off. There is NO defined pattern...

14 December 2012 19:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Becoming a priest seems rather an extreme lifestyle choice just to get authority access to some teenagers. I wonder if the correlation there between religious vocation and same-sex abuse actually has some causation in it?

14 December 2012 19:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Completely obsessed aren’t you. To imagine anyone does anything without a desire to satisfy their sexual needs is lost to you.

You’re not being judged by the way, merely a recognition of your condition....


14 December 2012 19:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Firstly, please bear in mind that this grim subject is actually Bluedog's tangent. Secondly, is my point actually unreasonable on the face of it?

I can brainstorm a number of things here. For example, have those priests developed properly in a psycho-sexually sense given that celibacy is a requirement of the position and of Catholicism itself before marriage?

As the cases tend to be historic, did the priesthood attract a certain type of person at that time who wanted to hide stuff from society, in particular in a culture like Ireland had?

Heck, I could come up with lots of others if I wanted. Were those priests actually homosexual, or is there homo-eroticism in the priesthood? I expect the priests had a very skewed and largely unfettered access to boys and male teenagers, unlike to girls and female teenagers? Afterall, we hear of sexual behaviour in prisons amongst people who describe themselves as heterosexual.

Etc, etc.

14 December 2012 19:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

But anyway, back to the start of Bluedog's tangent. I find the idea of 'grooming' schoolchildren into homosexuality a bit odd to be frank. I ought to have been groomed into heterosexuality by my hetero-normative upbringing but I'm still 100% homosexual. How come it doesn't work the other way around? I saw enough copies of Razzle when I was growing up. I know, it's because it's a sexual orientation for most people. Compare and contrast that the grooming religious organisations do in schools. It's completely overt! And why? Because children are more vulnerable and less cynical and more open to suggestion about something that really ought to make normal people laugh out loud if they hear it completely from new. Of course, the idea is obviously to implant to seeds early so that children can be brought into religion later using the groundwork already done. Now that's grooming.

14 December 2012 19:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I use Razzle as stand-in, of course. I'm trying to think what the common magazines were called back then

14 December 2012 19:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0, you have scatter gunned a whole host of issues there, and this man is doing the weekly wash so cannot commit himself to deep thought at the moment.

This is the Inspector General signing off for tonight...

14 December 2012 19:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 December 2012 19:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Good man, Dodo, I like that. A balding or a flush it is from now on. I would have preferred a murder, as for ravens, but no. In Canada we say a gaggle of geese, but what do we colonial bumpkins know, and forgetting that English is an irrational, perhaps even a seriously demented language, I logically and evidently erroneously transferred the term onto ducks, seeing how close they are taxonomically to geese. Or so I think, for they squawk the same.

Shabbat shalom y'all.

14 December 2012 20:07  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Phil Roberts - Thanks for your kind remarks.

14 December 2012 20:38  
Blogger John Magee said...

What a bunch of atheist Gay bunk. Always at his best trashing religion and Christianty.

14 December 2012 21:46  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Avi

Seemingly it's an extinction of Dodos!

15 December 2012 01:09  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 December 2012 01:49  
Blogger Tony B said...

John Magee
I presume you now realise the Dodo lived only on Mauritius and has been extinct since about 1662?

15 December 2012 06:03  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 December 2012 07:32  
Blogger Tony B said...

John, no it didn't.

15 December 2012 08:13  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

There are two Christian saints named Dodo - one a Benedictine and the other a Georgian Orthodox Christian.

15 December 2012 14:00  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 December 2012 01:29  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 December 2012 01:43  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dodo

I hope the word doesn't get out and Catholic and Eastern Orthodox parents start naming their sons Dodo after the Sts. Dodo you enlightened us about. It might make an interesting confirmation name though...

More useless trivia:

Are you familiar with the "Gooney bird"? That is the slang name GI's in the South Pacific during WW II gave the albatross. Watch a video of them on land and you'll understand why they got their silly nickname.

It was also the name for the C-17 Skytrain WW II airplane.

17 December 2012 05:09  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 December 2012 05:57  
Blogger John Magee said...

Tony B

You are correct. I confused the "gooney bird" (albatross) who live in the millions on Midway Island and nearby islands and not on only on Guam in the Pacific with the extinct dodo bird. The albatross's were given their nickname "gooney bird" by GI's during WW II because of their silly antics.

I almost resurrected our Dodo here from his extinction...

17 December 2012 06:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John. On the subject of names, are you familiar with the late American radio personality ‘Fibber Magee’ ?

17 December 2012 19:26  
Blogger John Magee said...

...

17 December 2012 21:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John. One was holidaying in Galway 18 months ago. And in the town was a bar so named. Look him up on the net, you can even hear him. He was a US radio comedian in a sitcom sense...

17 December 2012 22:12  
Blogger John Magee said...

...

23 December 2012 20:14  
Blogger John Magee said...

...

25 December 2012 23:34  

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