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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

C of E

Liberals and moderates in the Church of England need to rally against the evangelicals and fundamentalists. But, the liberals are not activists, not hot enough, not forceful enough... or financially secure within the Church of England, so that threats to split by evangelical Church of England groups such as Reform and Church Society, have got the liberals by their (pacifist) balls.

The liberals need more powerful leaders and inspiration, Rowan Williams might be that leader if he can forge the way into this century and force the Anglican communion to accept gay rights and gay tolerance... but he can't run the risk of a split... so the liberals need strong leaders to de-evangelise the Church of England.

Otherwise our otherwise positive and liberal C of E is going to turn into another Bible-based fundamentalist tool for anti-human discrimination, anti-rights, anti-life... which is bad :-(

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There's another possibility - that the CofE is riven by vicious synodic infighting and murderous ecclesiastical backstabbing - and that this leaves the entire church broken and battered through self-inflicted wounds, after which the remaining minor factions pose little further threat to anyone.

When your enemies are about to start fighting amongst each other, it's time to rejoice.

Something like 2/3s of all new clergy in the Church of England are evangelicals, it's not a case of the Church splitting up, but if it becoming fundamentalist. Combine that with it's privaleged role in the UK government, and the recent successes of some fundie groups like the Christian Institute and the Vardy Foundation (who run fundamentalist creationist schools), and the prospects are worse than the mere break up of the presently-tame Church of England.

My enemy is human stupidity, anti-humanity, and to be honest I'd rather keep the Church of England liberal, rather than evangelical, so even though the liberal version isn't exactly famous for it's social morals, I'd rather have the liberals become stronger against the fundamentalists than have the fundamentalists take over the Church of England's resources.

Although it is in financial crises and is dying, I'd rather it was a liberal behemoth, nasty and injured, but tame, than a re-energized evangelical equivalent, willing to fight horribly against society until as long as possible.

I can see your point, yes - a liberal but self-emasculated CofE is probably better to live with than an extreme-evangelical rump. We can most definitely do without the appearance of any new mainland-UK Ian-Paisley-style fire-and-brimstone-preaching clones.

As to the evils of the Vardy Foundation, following my description of what they are up to I've managed to deter several people from buying their cars from Reg Vardy car-dealerships; alas it seems that in parts of the North you have little choice since Vardy companies appear to have a stranglehold over dealerships for certain brands.

Personally, I feel that there is one positive consideration in the outlook. Death will eventually take care of the problem. Mainstream religion tends to be a thing of the older generations, and younger people are more likely to be uninterested, overtly secular or otherwise faith-free. That's not to say that there aren't a minority of the young who don't get religionized and grow up to be fundamentalists, but this is a _very_ small minority from where I am sitting.

In some social strata, organized religion is in the fore, amongst Jewish groups (Jews in the UK and USA are mostly non-secular, whereas ironically most in Israel (including it's government) are secular), Hindu and Muslim groups, black churches and lower class unemployed (especially women, nowadays) are likely to be organized religion, housewife-style religionists, and this does rub off on their young, I've witnessed much of this myself at a government ran training program for down and outs, where I ran a discussion one day, and several people didn't even know the basics of science, and thought it silly compared with the Bible.

In the UK we are famous for our modern irreligion, as is Germany, France, etc.... Iain Duncan Smith recently complained that this "peculiarly advanced state of secularism is arguably beyond most of the other nations.", so I see no long term threat *except* that the growing evangelical groups are very adept politicans and pressurists, and everyone ends up in some hypersensitive combatative role even if merely trying to hold on to existing equal rights and religious freedom.

It's so cool you know about Mr Vard!

It's so cool you know about Mr Vard[y]!

I try to do my bit, small though it may be. Knowledge is Power, and all that, y'know...

I read something about him on BBC online. Amazing that some of these liberals aren't activist! I think this guy Williams has a tough fight ahead of him, but I really hope the evangelicalism is minimized at the very least. There's enough Bible-based fundie stuff going on over here; I'd hate to see it spreading to other countries, but it's already happening... unfortunately. :\

Some of the most influential groups here are directly funded my US groups. I think we to a cross-Atlantic declaration that all fundamentalism is a form of terrorism, then watch the present USA government automatically nuke itself!

Try this from the National Secular Society newsline...:
Christian leaders in Canada have claimed the Bible may be defined as “hate literature” under a proposed law. The new Bill would make it a crime to incite or promote hatred against homosexuals. But Svend Robinson, who introduced the Bill, rejected claims that it would criminalise clergy who preached against homosexuality. “There’s not an attorney- general in the country anywhere at any level who would consent to the prosecution of an individual for quoting from the Bible,” he said.

I think we should resurrect Lenin, and put him in charge of the USA miliary. That'd clear a few things up :-)

Hah! I never thought of fundamentalism as being equated with terrorism. What a unique idea. ::curious smile:: However, I think there's a problem with the misuse of the word 'fundamentalist' here. In my understanding, a true fundamentalist is one who practices the very basics that are supposedly the true core of one's religion -- not a terrorist-type, hate-mongering, politically dangerous extremist. I keep hearing the line, "Islam is essentially a peaceful religion" and I'm sure the same can be said for Christianity (by those who practice it). It seems to be the PEOPLE who can take any particular idea or ideology and turn it into something very negative. I do wish the U.S. religious fanatics would stay out of other people's countries!

Bible as hate literature.... hmmmm. Yes, this definitely works if you take some of the worst aspects of it. I have a book titled, 'The X-Rated Bible' which sums it up pretty well. It's never made any sense to me the claims that Xianity is so loving and accepting, mostly due to the overt exclusion of anyone and everyone who doesn't fit the perfect Christian profile. I wonder how these clergy feel about the few of them who ARE homosexual or bisexual (the ones who've actually been ordained, that is)!

Lenin? Isn't it bad enough having Bush in charge of the military?? (I'm not sure what you mean.) :)

Well, at least we know who the LGB community would back up, and they ARE activists. I suppose we could say that LGB community needs to get more actually 'on side' with liberal christians, especially in the UK.

It's the same scenario here where, as much as I would like to get the Uni of Essex Christian Union (considerably very liberal - they've GOT to be with the Equal Opps policy we've got here!), to team up in doing at least one event (hopefully a Matrix-themed night in an SU venue) with the LGB Society. Now, despite the fact that LGBSoc here can't even organise a gay piss-up in a gay brewery, there would still be the impression from all sexual orientations that it's somehow a bad idea - why? Because there is still the preconception that christianity and homo/bi- sexuality are chalk and cheese, especially in Essex. I know for a fact this isn't true, although I'd grant I don't know any LGB students here who're in the Christian Union, but then again when you're getting it *IMPOSED* upon you from every angle here in the Student Union, you're not exactly going to sign up for the CU straight away, especially if you're openly L/G/B.
So overall we get a simple dilemma that LGB and Christians are seen as two heavily conflicting interests. If there's one thing for certain, however, I am as sure as f**k not going to let the incumbent president (not properly elected for TWO academic years now!) stop me from doing this idea with the CU so long as they want it! He himself attributes Christianity to Heterosexuality, with his designations of 'Young White Christian Heterosexual Males' who are apparently against anything LGB. In actual fact I've found of almost the exact description here being pretty much pro-LGB. He forgets also that such a narrow stereotype of homophobes could include (though at the same time indeed exclude) Ethnic Minorities, Mature Students, closet / recurrent bisexuals, women, he forgets that Islamic groups claim to not even recognise homosexuality, that other religions may be pro- or anti- gay, the list goes on. Whilst I could get the two societies together to run a brilliant night with a lot of enthusiasm packed in, a minority made of basically those who would disagree with the idea, the LGB Society president who doesn't even represent the society, and possibly the Entertainments Manager in the SU also (an unelected official / member of staff), could potentially get rid of the whole thing.
This discomforts, and discourages me a great deal, despite what I'm willing to show practically every student in this university - that whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, christian or of any other faith, we're all still students here! There is no spoon, so why look for the nearest knife to tear us all apart?

My God, what an unwholesomely long paragraph, who do you think you are, Nietzsche? (Actually I have to retract that because on second look there is a paragraph break half way through that I sometimes missed first time round)

Traditional Christianity is very much anti-gay, violently and abusively so, although for some time there have been many gay Christians, and groups such as the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement ( http://www.lgcm.org.uk/ ) are active, they are heavily opposed by the growing evangelical and fundamentalist elements of Christianity.

Islam is, you are right, much worse. A quote from my http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/homosexuality.html
"Islam is probably the most rigidly and inhumanly anti-homosexual in it's practices of all the world religions. The verses from the Koran condemning homosexuality are much clearer than those that the Christians use. In all Muslim countries and all areas where the Islamic Sharia law is enforced homosexuality is strictly illegal. All of Islam fits within the area of Christianity that we call "fundamentalist" with regards to sexuality. The debates in Islam about homosexuality are not about whether it is acceptable, but merely about how severe the punishment should be. So although there are liberal and strict elements within Islam with concern to homosexuality even the liberal opinion is the lesser of two evils."

Go for it, any pro-tolerance events are worthwhile, especially the ones that involve religious groups - you might even get the attention of some fundies, so both groups (gay rights and Christians) can get some personal experience of how intolerable they are when it comes to sexuality.

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