David Cameron’s Latest Bible


Vintage Crossley.

Originally posted on Sheffield Biblical Studies:

There has been a lot of reporting of David Cameron’s recent use of the Bible and his praise of Christianity. Nothing in what Cameron says is new in English political uses of the Bible, though Cameron’s emphasis has slightly changed. I have discussed these uses before on this blog (scroll below and there are a few posts) and won’t repeat them in any detail but a summary of Cameron’s latest views might help.

Definitions of the “Bible” and “Christianity” continue to be so vague and vacuous that lots of people who do not identify as “Christian” can accept the basic assumptions of what is Good: “Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility and love are shared by people of every faith and none – and we should be confident in standing up to defend them.” What are the results of this Christianity? Again, very…

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Russian Separatists in Ukraine: Your Actions are Utterly and Thoroughly Despicable- And the Civilized World Condemns You For It

THIS cannot be allowed.

Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media.

Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.

NO.  NO!  If we have to intervene militarily to stop this, then it is what must be done- for morality’s sake.  THIS cannot be tolerated.  The governments of the world are bound by the laws of decency to denounce this in no uncertain terms, and that includes the government of Russia.  Or this is a matter to go to war for.

If Your Daughter is Twelve and You’re a Grandmother, Something Has Gone Wrong

Britain’s youngest mom (who is 12.  12…) is fomenting plenty of discussion across the pond.  The Telegraph has a very excellent essay on the topic, the headline of which reads

A 12-year-old mother is a case not for the midwife but the police

And the byline-

The story of Britain’s youngest mother and father shows us how parenting in this country has gone seriously wrong

And the first stinging (justifiably) paragraphs-

A girl aged 12 years and three months became Britain’s youngest mother over the weekend. She was still at primary school when the baby girl was conceived. The baby’s father is more mature. He is 13.

That puts him in the same school year as the Small Boy. Now, the Small Boy has many nice qualities, but the ability to be a responsible father is not among them. An adolescent male, whose voice cracks and creaks like a ship in a gale and who cannot locate his own underpants on the floor of his lair, is to fatherhood what skateboarding is to space travel.

And so the cycle of wasted human potential repeats itself. Amazingly, this fact seems to be lost on the baby’s maternal grandmother, a sprightly veteran of 27. According to The Sun, the 12-year-old’s mother is being very supportive: “Her mum is sticking behind her. She was a teenage mum as well, so she isn’t being judgmental.”

God forbid that you should be judgmental when your 11-year-old child starts having sex with her 12-year-old boyfriend! An activity which, and I’m sorry to be picky, is actually illegal. Technically, the 13-year-old boy is guilty of rape. (What kind of consent is an 11-year-old girl capable of giving?)

Following an outcry over a number of horrible sexual assaults by children, the Sex Offences Act 1993 abolished the presumption that boys aged 10 to 13 were not considered capable of committing rape. Add to that the clear evidence that both sets of parents in this case (I mean the adult parents, not the kiddy parents) have been staggeringly negligent in allowing their vulnerable youngsters to have a sexual relationship, and you have to ask: Is there not a crime here? And, if so, where is the punishment?

What would once have been a source of shame and stigma has mutated over three generations into a kind of gleeful boast. “The baby’s mum and dad have been in a relationship for more than a year, so this isn’t a fleeting romance,” chirrups one family source proudly. “They intend to stick together and bring their daughter up together.” …

As the baby’s grandmother doesn’t want to be “judgmental” – or, as it used to be called, teaching your child right from wrong – let me help her out here. By allowing her daughter to have a baby that young, she has wrecked what remains of her childhood, and most probably doomed her adulthood as well. Having had a baby herself at the age of 15, she should have tried to protect her daughter from the same fate.

And the brilliant rest. Scornfully superb and superbly scornful.   (And sorry for excerpting so much- there’s just so much to like.  Like the whole thing).

More Than a Provocation: Sexuality, Media and Theology

Stefanie Knauss

More than a Provocation

Sexuality, Media and Theology

1. Auflage 2014
230 Seiten gebunden
ISBN 978-3-525-60450-2
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht


Sex, Media and theology – a provocative mix. Reactions can vary from rejection to openness and curiosity. This volume follows the latter path: on the background of changes in contemporary sexual culture and theological developments in the reflection on sexuality, three media – internet, advertising and film – are analysed with respect of their representation of sexuality and their contribution to theological reflections on sex. This shows: sex in media is more than a provocation; it provides an inspiration for theological thinking about human beings, their relationships with others, and also with God.

It sounds fascinating doesn’t it.  V&R have asked if I might like to review it, so I’ve said of course.  These sorts of things are outside my usual stomping grounds- which is the perfect reason to look into them.  More anon once it’s read and reviewed.

Heaven Is for Real: An Observation

Just a cautionary word about this popular film: it is NOT doctrine nor should it be viewed as such.  It is NOT ‘bible teaching’ nor should it be viewed as such.  It is NOT accurate at several points nor should it be viewed as such.  It is simply, merely, and only ENTERTAINMENT.

Getting your Doctrine from Hollywood films is like getting your doctrine from – well – Hollywood films.  If you really want to know what heaven is like, study Scripture.  It at least has the benefit of being theologically correct.

40 Days of Solidarity With the Christians of Palestine

And you can help by simply adding your name to the list of people standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Palestinian territories.  Please, consider doing so.

En Palestine, cette année encore, la liberté religieuse des chrétiens est menacée. En ce temps de Carême, toutes les familles chrétiennes de Palestine n’ont pas l’autorisation d’entrer à Jérusalem, où se trouve le Saint Sépulcre.   Ainsi en 2013, la majorité des palestiniens chrétiens se sont vu refuser l’accès aux Lieux saints, dont le premier d’entre eux est la Basilique de la Résurrection. Dans certaines villes, comme à Jénine, aucun laissez-passer n’a été accordé…

Patrick Stewart’s New Film on the Destruction of Palestine’s Heritage

The port city of Akka (also known as Acre) is one of the places where the conflict over ownership of Palestinian history and culture is most stark.

The recent campaign to prevent the historicKhan al-Umdan being turned into a luxury hotel by Israeli developers highlighted the struggle by an economically and politically marginalized Palestinian community to resist gentrificationand an insidious ethnic cleansing.

Director Patrick Stewart does an admirable job in It’s Better to Jump of conveying both the staggeringly long history of this beautiful port and the challenges which beset its people on a daily basis.

The film opens with swooping maps which emphasize Akka’s place — over thousands of years — on trade routes stretching both east and west. The focus narrows to local people — famous figures such as actor Makram Khoury but also ordinary folks such as tour guides, schoolteachers and students talking about their attachment to their home.

There’s a trailer of the film too at the website containing the full report.  Which do read.