God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Someone You Should Know

posted by God's Politics

I want to introduce you to someone. His name is Gordon Brown, and he just became Britain’s new Prime Minister. You have probably been hearing and reading the news about the transition from Tony Blair to Brown.
Among other things, Brown is a voracious reader, and reads many American books about politics, including those that focus on moral values and politics. That’s how I first met Gordon Brown: I was speaking in Britain and got a call from the office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer (his former position) saying that Brown wanted to get together that evening, if I was available. So I went over to his office at the Treasury, and he told me that he had read my books and had many questions for me. So we put our feet up and began talking, and have been doing so now for a number of years.
I’ve done several interviews recently with British newspapers and television networks about what kind of man Gordon Brown is. One asked me the word I would use to best describe him, and I said “passion.” That’s in sharp contrast to some of the British press, who refer to the new Prime Minister as “dour,” as one Guardian columnist did this morning on National Public Radio. But that is simply not the man that I have come to know and whose friendship I deeply value. I have taken American heads of churches and development agencies to visit with Brown, and they have been universally and amazingly impressed with his deep understanding of the issues of globalization and his personal commitment to tackling the moral challenge of inequality. I believe that Gordon Brown has more passion (and knowledge) about the issues of global poverty and social justice than any other Western leader today. And I believe his leadership could make a great difference. He is somebody you should know and follow closely.
Gordon Brown is the son of a Church of Scotland pastor and grew up in a manse where the biblical vision of justice seems to have found its place in his heart. Quotes from Isaiah and Jeremiah pepper his speeches about the kind of global economy we must be working for, and as I said in God’s Politics, Brown’s words often remind me of the prophet Micah, who knew that true security requires that “all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid.”
Let me share a few of his words from his speech this week on his transition to the new post of Labor Party Leader and Prime Minister.
First on his values and moral compass:

All I believe and all I try to do comes from the values that I grew up with: duty, honesty, hard work, family, and respect for others.
And this is what my parents taught me and will never leave me: that each and everyone of us has a talent, each and everyone of us should have the chance to develop their talent, and that each of us should use whatever talents we have to enable people least able to help themselves.
And so I say honestly: I am a conviction politician. My conviction that everyone deserves a fair chance in life. My conviction that each of us has a responsibility to each other. And my conviction that when the strong help the weak, it makes us all stronger. Call it ‘the driving power of social conscience,’ call it ‘the better angels of our nature,’ call it ‘our moral sense,’ call it a belief in ‘civic duty.’
I joined this party as a teenager because I believed in these values. They guide my work, they are my moral compass. This is who I am. And because these are the values of our party, too, the party I lead must have more than a set of policies – we must have a soul.

On children in poverty:

… let me say also that in the fourth richest country in the world it is simply wrong – wrong that any child should grow up in poverty. To address this poverty of income and to address also the poverty of aspirations by better parenting, better schools, and more one-to-one support, I want to bring together all the forces of compassion – charities, voluntary sector, local councils, so that at the heart of building a better Britain is the cause of ending child poverty.

On foreign policy:

Our foreign policy in years ahead will reflect the truth that to isolate and defeat terrorist extremism now involves more than military force – it is also a struggle of ideas and ideals that in the coming years will be waged and won for hearts and minds here at home and round the world. And an essential contribution to this will be what becomes daily more urgent – a Middle East settlement upholding a two state solution, that protects the security of Israel and the legitimate enduring desire for a Palestinian state.
Because we all want to address the roots of injustice, I can tell you today that we will strengthen and enhance the work of the department of international development and align aid, debt relief and trade policies to wage an unremitting battle against the poverty, illiteracy, disease and environmental degradation that it has fallen to our generation to eradicate.

Gordon Brown is one of a new kind of political leader who seeks to practice moral politics. He has already worked very closely with the community of faith and seeks a vital partnership. He knows that even politicians like him need to be challenged and held accountable by social movements with spiritual foundations. He once told me that without Jubilee 2000, the church-based movement to cancel Third World debt, the Labor government would have never done so. He encouraged me to keep building such movements because the world of politics needs them.
So pay attention to what Gordon Brown does now and please pray for him. I believe he could become the kind of international leader who really helps to change things. I watched his remarks on the BBC, just before he and his wife walked through the door of #10 Downing Street to spend his first night as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I’m glad he is there.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(97)
post a comment
Jane Wohl

posted June 28, 2007 at 11:31 am


Gordon Brown’s convictions seem authentic and based in a moral code that identifies justice, mercy and compassion as core values. This feels so different from our American leaders who mouth these ideas, but whose actions belie their words. We have seen what a sham “compassionate conservatism” really is. And, I confess, that if George Bush said “God bless you” to me, I would have to run the other way as fast as I could. How can we develop American leaders who are neither cynical nor crass, neither power hungry nor materialistic, who are truly caring and not posturing?



report abuse
 

Ben Wheaton

posted June 28, 2007 at 11:59 am


Definitely a formidable individual. However, Rev. Wallis sounds a little like Billy Graham did when Richard Nixon was elected. Politicians can and usually do disappoint. And Jane, why do people like you persist in identifying “compassion” and “justice” with socialist ideas? Such ideas are the very antithesis of such virtues.



report abuse
 

Wendy Rambo Shuford

posted June 28, 2007 at 12:27 pm


Thank you,Jim for this wonderful description of Gordon Blair.He seems to have the values that I hold dear and that the goals he starts with are of such importance.He is one that gives me hope for the future.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted June 28, 2007 at 12:39 pm


Posted by: Jane Wohl | June 28, 2007 11:31 AM
Oh Please – a GBY from the current person in the Oval Office inspires such fear? What about the previous occupant…?
The jury is still out on Mr. Brown for me. I believe that you might see a transformation as he gives leadership and discovers items and issues that were not known to him prior to becoming PM.
Castro could say GBY to me and I would politely accept it knowing that it was just ‘words’ from him with no conviction or meaning behind it.
Be blessed and maybe get a life -
.



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 28, 2007 at 12:48 pm


And Jane, why do people like you persist in identifying “compassion” and “justice” with socialist ideas? Such ideas are the very antithesis of such virtues.
Because they are often done not on an individual basis but a collective one. I advise you to stop looking for Karl Marx when those ideas actually come straight out of Scripture. (Marx did read the Bible, BTW.)



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 28, 2007 at 12:53 pm


Oh Please – a GBY from the current person in the Oval Office inspires such fear? What about the previous occupant…?
Clinton virtually never used religion as part as the “will to power.” On the other hand, GWB has done the consistently virtually from the time he campaigned and if you disagreed with his religious convictions you were less than human.



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 28, 2007 at 1:15 pm


Rick, I remember Clinton quoting scripture alot (and I didn’t have a problem with it).
Can you give us some examples of people being treated as less than human because they disagreed with GWB religious convictions.



report abuse
 

from britain

posted June 28, 2007 at 1:17 pm


brown was part of the blair government, and as such supported blair’s general policy. also, he wasn’t opposed to the iraq war.
so i don’t believe much will change, whatever his moral convictions… blair was also a leader with a religious faith and strong moral convictions.
years ago, when the blair came to power, his party claimed wanting to fight povery. however, actually the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer in labour-governed britain.
don’t place your hope in politicians, particularly not the leaders of the most powerful nations. real change needs to come from below, from the grassroots.



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 28, 2007 at 1:20 pm


Can you give us some examples of people being treated as less than human because they disagreed with GWB’s religious convictions.
His whole administration has been like that, especially on the issue of terrorism; I can’t just pull out one instance.
Clinton, OTOH, did not quote that much Scripture, and he got nailed — justly — for mangling that passage at the 1992 convention.



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 28, 2007 at 1:52 pm


Rick,
Can you try? You accusation is pretty strong and you’ve made it before.
Has GWB brought religion into the terrorism issue? It seems he has avoided the use of religion on this issue.
I don’t know what OTOH means, but Clinton did us scripture quite a bit.
I’m off to work



report abuse
 

JimII

posted June 28, 2007 at 2:43 pm


GWB has used his religous convictions to influence who is employed by the Department of Justice.
“It used to be that high-level DOJ jobs were generally reserved for the best of the legal profession,” wrote a contributor to The New Republic website . “. . . That a recent graduate of one of the very worst (and sketchiest) law schools [Regent University of Law, a religous law school] with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the DOJ.”
Full Story
GWB has used good versus evil, crusader language to describe the “War on Terror.”
“Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history, but our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.”
Full Text
GWB has used his faith to justify denying life-saving research to Americans and the World.
Prophetic Progress: Honestly Held Beliefs
I believe that some of these are sincere expressions of his faith, and his certainty in his interpretation of his faith. Nonetheless, in the name of his religious convictions he has hired people like him, conducted illegal wars, and stifled the hopes of many to find cures for their diseases. I think it is safe to say, in the name of his religion he has mistreated people.



report abuse
 

Steve

posted June 28, 2007 at 2:52 pm


Gordon Brown seems like he will be a man to watch. I’ve never been quite sure of who he is, and it will be facinating to see him find out…
On britain, I’m not sure the poor getting poorer is entirely accurate.
Though the Government hasn’t wanted to talk about it a great deal, while the gap between rich and poor as it is phrased is rising (becasuse the rich are getting richer much faster), the worst off have had massive investment, and their income has risen over and above inflation by a significantly large amount, as well as the results of investment in social support and aid.
This quote from the BBC in 2005: “On average, people in the bottom 20% of the income distribution have gained over 11% per year more from the government, and are £1,430 per year better off.”
In particular lone parents and families with low incomes have benefited, while couples with no children have actually lost a little.
bang uptodate: The Institute for Fiscal Studies calculates that the average family is £6,100 a year better off after Labour’s first decade. Certainly as a middle income couple with two young children I know that we are substantially better off than previously.
This woudl suggest that the poorer are benefitting under our most recent government, even while much more needs to be done.
Cheers
Steve



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted June 28, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | June 28, 2007 12:53 PM
Clinton virtually never used religion as part as the “will to power.”
Clinton flubbed up quoting a bible verse(s).
Clinton was seen sing with a choir in church in robe after the ML hit the fan.
Clinton admitting to the National Prayer Breakfast that “I have sinned…” while his lawyers are in court deneying that he did anything.
Clinton used (abused) Bill H. of Willowcreek as a mentor for his ‘addiction’ along with J. Jackson. (oh – and he has a ‘love child’.)
He tried everything he could to divert our attention – it was like Hitler talking about supporting the establishing the State of Israel.
Anyone should be able to say GBY and whoever it is directed to should just accept it – gracefully. Clinton could say GBY to me and I would accept it – gracefully. (but I would make sure my sister was on the otherside of me)
Blessings to all – (hope you are not running away)
.



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 28, 2007 at 3:25 pm


He tried everything he could to divert our attention — it was like Hitler talking about supporting the establishing the State of Israel.
You overlooked what I actually said — even with the examples you cited, Clinton never used religion as an excuse for the will to power. Besides, author Philip Yancey noted (and was criticized for saying) that Bill and Hillary were indeed both deeply religious. On top of that, there was indeed, as Hillary said, a right-wing conspiracy to try to knock him off; I know about it because one of the major players is just a stone’s throw from where I sit right now and I wrote about it in my campus newspaper three years beforehand.
OTOH (on-line shorthand for “on the other hand”), GWB has said God called him to be president, though I don’t remember the specifics, and some of his religious supporters have said the same thing. That notion is why so few Christians until recently challenged Bush on anything.



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted June 28, 2007 at 4:16 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | June 28, 2007 3:25 PM
That Bill and Hill are ‘deeply religious’ means nothing to me. Religious is not evidence of Faith.
Maybe you should define ‘knock him off’ as it has various definitions. If it wasn’t for the big four (NBC-CBS-ABC-CNN) basically being the four posts to the Clinton Camp – he would have never been elected to a second term.
If there was a Republican in the White House with the sexual morals of a Bill Clinton – NOW would have had him flogged in public. (at least there have been some occupants of the Oval Office that have thought with the correct head)
If you have a daughter or sister and I believe that you would have raised them or encouraged them to be good women of high morals…would you encourage them to work in the same office with someone that has Bill Clintons track record? (I personally don’t think so)
Yes – he used the church whenever it was convient for him (them) to do so. God puts leaders into office – no matter what anyone might think.
Be blessed -
.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted June 28, 2007 at 4:16 pm


jeff, gwb avoiding religion & terrorism? where to start…how about gwb substituting ‘america’ in for ‘jesus’ as being the light of the world from the gospel of john (1 yr anniversary speech of 9/11), or ‘the american people’ for ‘the blood of the lamb’ from an old hymn (state of the union address 03), shall i continue?



report abuse
 

Chaplain Randy Myers

posted June 28, 2007 at 4:58 pm


I suppose I’m one who is finally getting weary of a lot of relgious talk by politicians along with so much relgious exhibitionism. I’d much rather prefer a Dag Hammarskjold, who though deep in faith, did not exhibit it only acted on it in his role as Secretary General of the U.N..
I’m also one who would prefer rule of a wise “Turk” to a stupid Christian (Martin Luhter).
Sure, I’m to the left of Sojourners on most issues, particularly in regard to economic and social programs due to my theological anthropology. I also have my own philosophical and practical reasons as well.
I suppose I want politicians who seek the common good in a pluralist culture giving us reasons other than “thus saith the Lord.” “Thus saith the Lord” is the address of the church and it can speak to the state as one voice among others, but I don’t want preachers who are politicians or politicians who are preachers of whatever faith.



report abuse
 

lovemercy

posted June 28, 2007 at 5:02 pm


As usual, I’m wondering why some of you even read the blogs at Sojourners. Is it just to have an outlet for your criticism? I don’t go to Bill O’Reilly’s blog – if he even has one, I peronally couldn’t care less what he says – or Ann Coulter and repudiate everything they say. I don’t have the time or the inclination to try and change anyone’s mind there. I don’t expect to agree with everyone on this site but I’m often saddened by the comments I see here. I’m not sure why people hate Clinton so much. I love the bumper sticker that says, “When Clinton lied, nobody died.” How true! Yet Bush leads us into a war based on false information, continues the war when the false information became universally acknowledged, but he gets away with it because of his perceived faith in God and calling by God. The religious right has put their trust in this president based on his Christian faith. They have not questioned him or held him accountable. As a result, over 3000 American troops have died and who knows how many Iraquis? I find that much more shameful than what Clinton did with Monica Lewinsky and that he lied about doing it.
Bush has used religous rhetoric when talking about the war on terror. Hello, he called it a crusade days after 9/11. I don’t question the man’s faith. Only God sees the heart of a man. I am sure he is a man of God but that doesn’t mean we give him carte blance to lead our country into a quagmire that will be difficult to get out of. This post has nothing to do with Gordon Brown, but I am writing to respond to some of the other comments I read. Also, maybe Marx read Isaiah and the Gospels to get a few ideas. His ideas are not any that I would espouse but they are alot closer to Christ’s than capitalism. Accumulating money and stuff and becoming more profitable just didn’t seem to make the cut in my version of the Bible. Nor did the top down mentality. I seem to recall reading about the last being first and the first being last.
Peace



report abuse
 

Pat Blair

posted June 28, 2007 at 5:19 pm


It is to easy to look at people through rose colored glasses. I would have been impressed if Gordon Brown had said, “the first thing that I will insist for the sake of peace in the Middle East, is that Israel tear down the obscene wall,return all Jews to 1967 borders, apologize to the Palestinians for the Apartheid inflicted on them, pay the money owed the Palestinians, turn on the electricity and water, the IDF stop harassing Christian Peacekeepers and Palestinian children trying to reach school, allow Palestinians easy access to healthcare, families, and jobs”. Plus I would tell the American Government to stop the billions of dollars in “aide” every year to Israel to buy weapons of mass destruction to use on other human beings. Now if Gordon Brown can do that, then perhaps Jim Wallis’s observations could be credible.



report abuse
 

tiamhdha ailin browne

posted June 28, 2007 at 5:40 pm


you left out the part about gordon brown being so shallow and upset about the scottish national party winning the elections in may that he refused to congratulate alex salmond, the leader of the SNP, though he extended congratulations to the winners of welsh, english & northern ireland’s elections. brown is an anti-scotland scotsman. he is one of many standing in the way of the desire of the scottish people – to be free of english imperialism once and for all. brown will be our president’s lapdog just like tony blair, who upon his election raised the hopes and expectations of millions of english people that real change would happen. instead, he led them into a war that the vast majority of the people wanted no part in, and has cost the lives of thousands of english soilders and made his country the third largest terrorist target behind israel & the u.s. due to men like blair & brown, the labour party has completely abandoned the social democratic platform the party was founded upon. if you expect anything to change with this man as PM, you are fooling yourself.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted June 28, 2007 at 5:49 pm


tiamhdha, clearly you are a ‘glass is half full’ person with the persistent optimism you are exuding. :)



report abuse
 

nad2

posted June 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm


2 letters to show what type of change can come from w/in an administration – T.R. though i am not comparing brown to T.R., i am saying i will let him be judged as his own man as a head of state.



report abuse
 

Jean

posted June 28, 2007 at 6:02 pm


What a relief, and how encouraging and inspiring to hear Brown talk so articulately about values and convictions without resorting to all the self-conscious “Christian” talk we’ve heard so much of from our politicians in this country. What a relief. All the self-righteous God and faith stuff that has been foisted on us without any actual compassionate and moral action (quite the opposite) has given me a great weariness for it.
Let’s start doing the right thing by each other instead of crowing about our religion.
~ Jean



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 28, 2007 at 6:17 pm


nad2,
Thanks for religious references GWB used or misused when talking on terrorism. But you missed the point. Rick’s accussation was that,
“if you disagreed with his religious convictions you were less than human”



report abuse
 

Jerry Shepperd

posted June 28, 2007 at 6:18 pm


I would urge us to be cautious in expecting a political leader to achieve what we think is a moral and just agenda, for at least two reasons. First, committed Christians have different opinions about what is moral and just, as evidenced by the several comments already posted to this blog. What one person thinks is just may not be close to another person’s concept of just. Second,politicians must work with other politicians to get any legislation passed, and the other politicians may have deeply help values and ideas different from the leader’s ideas and different from other opinions. The resulting legislation may not resemble any single person’s values and definitions of moral and just. As Professor Higgins said in My Fair Lady (not an exact quote), “When we compromise, we may end up with something neither of us wants.”
On the other hand, not everyone who says Lord, Lord, is part of the Kingdom, and religiously correct rhetoric sometimes is merely rhetoric. We should hold political leaders accountable for what they say is the morally just basis for the programs they would like to implement even if they face opposition in achieving their ends.



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 28, 2007 at 6:24 pm


Rick,
Surely GWB’s belief that God called him to be president doesn’t make you feel less human. If it does I don’t think that would be W’s fault.
I’m still waiting for a specific example of to prove your accusation.



report abuse
 

Collin Tong

posted June 28, 2007 at 6:29 pm


Dear Jim,
Thank you for your article about Gordon Brown. After reading about him in God’s Politics and in now in your piece, I am led to wonder who among our 2008 presidential aspirants embody similar qualities in as authentic a fashion as the new Prime Minister. So far, the only candidate who might possibly fit that description is Barack Obama. I think Americans are tired of elected officials who are less authentic than Brown and routinely lie to the public to promote policies run counter to most cherished values. Witness our war in Iraq or domestic spying.
Collin Tong



report abuse
 

Norman the nonagenarian

posted June 28, 2007 at 7:11 pm


As a naturalized American, formerly an Englishman (who lived many years in Wales!), I have sympathy with Ms. Browne’s distrust of her new PM as insufficiently attached to the country (I would prefer to say region) of his birth. But can’t we take a broader view? Socrates, it is said, considered himself a citizen of the whole world. Paul said that in Christ all distinctions were abolished. Let’s try to be citizens of the whole world! Gary Powers was a bit ridiculous, but he did have a point!



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted June 28, 2007 at 8:19 pm


That George Bush apparently claims/ed God called him to be President is hilarious.
That anybody actually took/takes him or any politician who makes a similar claim is downright scary!



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted June 28, 2007 at 8:21 pm


woops, meant to say – cThat anybody actually took/takes him or any politician who makes a similar claim SERIOUSLY is downright scary!



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 28, 2007 at 8:39 pm


Canucklehead,
If W’s claim of divine call was a campaign ploy, I would be cynical. I don’t think that was the context. Many people feel God’s call is important in any profession. If Georges faith brings him to this conclusion, so what. He never claimed this gives him divine authority or infallibility.
Rick, you got that example.
Jeff



report abuse
 

AnaMaria Goicoechea

posted June 28, 2007 at 8:50 pm


Thanks Rev Jim, you have given me HOPE. I want you to know, that the Sejourners spirit is with me. Today was a sad day, due to the lack of votes in the Senate for the Immigration Bill. Please go on working and reaching out! In Christ, sincerely. AMG



report abuse
 

nad2

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:11 am


jeff, at your insistence upon rick following up literally on what seems to be more of a figure of speech, if you will accept ‘your anti-imperial religious views are in essence supporting the terrorists’ within your definition of feeling less than human, the bush/cheney/rove machine has this one down to a ‘t,’ or at least they had it down to a ‘t’ until the fog of 9/11 wore off & the world woke up to what a tragic world-view we have let our leaders run with! bush insists that what we (the light of the world, remember) are doing (through making war) is spreading freedom & that freedom ‘is god’s gift to every human being,’ & those who oppose us (the enemy) hate freedom (that being god’s gift to all mankind), thus if you are opposing our spreading of freedom (invading another country with no idea of what we were getting into for our own troops’ sake or the sake of the people we occupy), then you are opposing the will of god & are really on the same side as the terrorists. this dovetails quite nicely into his empire theology, america as the light of the world, with us or against us, peace through victory, etc. i think the two points (and you made both points, i was responding to one of them earlier so i don’t think i was missing the point) you made about terrorism/religion & less than human / religion overlap significantly. as to whether or not he really believes god picked him to be president or whether it was a campaign ploy, i am MUCH more at ease with the consequences of the latter. he may not be ‘claiming’ to have divine mandate, but to some, himself included at times i believe (when he doubts what has been done, rememer – no mistakes are ever made in this administration), that is simply an underlying presumption on which they operate.
well tiamhdha, your optimism is contageous, now i seem to be exuding it! i watched this all tragically unfold, rooting for the man (gwb) i supported in 2000 to respond radically and grandly rather than in kind (plus a bunch more on those who have done nothing), but it has been a tragic, tragic debacle post 9/11 with foxes shamelessly ‘guarding’ seemingly every hen house we’ve got in its wake.
i hope you and everyone have a good weekend, i am off to the big easy to revel in what’s left of it!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:46 am


Maybe you should define ‘knock him off’ as it has various definitions. If it wasn’t for the big four (NBC-CBS-ABC-CNN) basically being the four posts to the Clinton Camp – he would have never been elected to a second term.
Au contraire — the truth be told, for the sake of ratings, the “Big Four” networks actually got sucked into the conspiracy, broadcasting allegations without a shred of evidence that they were true, and in fact the editorial board of my own “liberal” newspaper said he should step down. Also, did you notice that the Clinton “scandals” stopped after the impeachment? There was reason for that — at that point the media eventually realized they’d been had. Conservative media lost so much credibility as a result that when the Weekly Standard published an article in 2003 that supposedly detailed links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda not one outlet covered the story, and a week later it turned out to be a hoax anyway.
If there was a Republican in the White House with the sexual morals of a Bill Clinton – NOW would have had him flogged in public. (at least there have been some occupants of the Oval Office that have thought with the correct head)
Actually, you’d have never even heard about it because the right-wing media would have covered it up. In fact, a whole lot of conservatives in Congress were worse morally than Clnton, but that never came out until a few years ago.



report abuse
 

Dolores Gonzalez-Hayes

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:47 am


Jim,
As a student of yours at Harvard, I learned to appreciate your wisdom and insights on issues and people with potential global impact and consequence. Thank you, Jim, for sharing with us your impressions of the new Prime Minister. Without your personal knowledge of Gordon Brown, we would have been left with the one-sided view (by the media) of the new Prime Minister.



report abuse
 

Jim

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:51 am


Jeff,
I posted an answer to your question with three examples in which GWB used his faith to mistreat people.
1) Hiring from Regent Law School–passing over more qualified people to put people of his version of Christianity in place.
2) Stem Cell Research — allowing people to literally suffer and die from diseases because they did not share his religous convictions
3) Good v. Evil — he has directed the murder of thousands and thousands of Iraqis as a result of his religous ideology. His good v. evil language that he first used on the days after September 11 allowed him to conduct his illegal war while a pathetic Congress watched.
I had links to the full text of stories about all of these but BeliefNet intercepted my post. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it was something.
Sorry I didn’t get you the examples sooner. It was a pretty easy task though.
Love,
JimII



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:52 am


Maybe you should define ‘knock him off’ as it has various definitions. If it wasn’t for the big four (NBC-CBS-ABC-CNN) basically being the four posts to the Clinton Camp – he would have never been elected to a second term.
Au contraire — the truth be told, for the sake of ratings, the “Big Four” networks actually got sucked into the conspiracy, broadcasting allegations without a shred of evidence that they were true, and in fact the editorial page of my own “liberal” newspaper said he should step down. Also, did you notice that the Clinton “scandals” stopped after the impeachment? There was reason for that — at that point the media eventually realized they’d been had. Conservative media lost so much credibility as a result that when the Weekly Standard published an article in 2003 that supposedly detailed links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda not one MSM outlet covered the story, and a week later it turned out to be a hoax anyway.
If there was a Republican in the White House with the sexual morals of a Bill Clinton – NOW would have had him flogged in public. (at least there have been some occupants of the Oval Office that have thought with the correct head)
Actually, you’d have never even heard about it because the right-wing media would have covered it up. In fact, a whole lot of conservatives in Congress were worse morally than Clnton, but that never came out until a few years ago.
If W’s claim of divine call was a campaign ploy, I would be cynical. I don’t think that was the context. Many people feel God’s call is important in any profession. If George’s faith brings him to this conclusion, so what. He never claimed this gives him divine authority or infallibility.
He doesn’t actually say that, but when was the last time he actually said he made a mistake and apologized? And more to the point, when has he formulated policy crafted by anyone except his inner circle? When you embark on a course of action without considering the risks involved or alternative solutions simply because it’s what you want to do, that’s sheer arrogance.



report abuse
 

Adrian wait

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:36 am


Leicester, England.
I have lived on an income of approximately £59 per week, just under £40 below the official poverty line. I do not blame Government for this I look to the fact that the beauocracy is relatively unchanged within most human systems and the ‘fat’ between policy and action is every nations downfall.
The probrem is that we have the disengaged who idolise the information highway, and marvel at the communication revolution whilst the trapped remain unheard – You see, for all our technology and advances we still fail to listen! We prefer to categorise, and the forget!
We shall never make poverty history along has we revel in our conferences and never invite the ‘poor’ Whose listening anyway?
I believe Gordon Brown is a man of passion and action, but the forest of the disengaged will seek to block every initaitve, it is the way of this world. Micah tells us what God expects of us: Steadfast loyalty, to be Just and act with Mercy in all humility – I do believe that Gordon Brown has these attributes – but the vast majority of the disengaged will seek to derail every atempt to action is passion for justice, and the media – which in Britain has sunk to an all time low with the BBC coverage little more than a magazine/chat type show rather than in depth news has succesfully ‘dumbed the news down’ – To the point that I heard a member of the public say (when ask about Brown) “He’s a little old, I think I prefer the younger man, the Tory I think” If ignorance is Bliss, then my Nation has become a blissful place.
Adrian Wait. England.



report abuse
 

John Walford

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:52 am


I pray that Jim’s optimism over Gordon Brown is justified. It is interesting to note that I have never actually heard him speak about Jesus Christ so it is difficult to know what his personal beliefs actually are. Having said that, it is not actually safe for British politicians to speak about God publicly – they face ridicule especially form the media. I do believe that he has been a driving force towards debt relief so my prayer is that we will see this being allowed to move higher up the agenda.
In response to a couple of points in this thread. First the Labour Party (spelled with a “u” in Britain)is no longer a socialist party. Secondly the idea that England has an imperialist hold over Scotland would have my many Scottish friends laughing their heads off. A minority of people want independence for Scotland. They voted Scottish Nationalist because they are more left-wing than Labourr and they didn’t want Labour any more.
Rev John Walford
United Kingdom



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 5:25 am


Gordon brown promotes abortion for girls as young as 10 years old!
He favours euthanasia.
He supports the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and since he was in the cabinet that decided those crimes HE IS A WAR CRIMINAL!
Since when that is to be a good Christian?!
Wake up!
Gordon Brown is as rubbish as Blair.
How can people be so blind?
No wonder Bush does whatever he wants!
The irony is that Bush, another war criminal, is against abortion!
He is actually better than Brown!
How about that?!



report abuse
 

Jim Beattie

posted June 29, 2007 at 9:44 am


I was pleasantly surprised as I read what Jim Wallis had to say about Gordon Brown. I pray that his appreciation will be borne out by events.
A number of opinions expressed here confuse me somewhat. The person who wrote about Scots wishing to be free of “English Imperialism ” may be unaware of Scottish history and the opinion of the majority of Scottish people who do not wish to be “independent”. Additionally is it still the view of most Americans that Socialism and Christianity are mutually incompatible? I am a Christian and a socialist, as were many of the founders of British Socialism. As for Bush being better than Brown because of his stance on abortion I am sure there is no statement in the New Testament about degrees of sin only that we ALL are sinners and fall short of God’s glory



report abuse
 

Betty Dodson

posted June 29, 2007 at 10:07 am


Just to affirm that I, for one, value getting a Sojourners opinion of Gordon Brown. Doesn’t mean I blindly accept all that was said…just that it gives me a peg on which to hang behaviors of the future!



report abuse
 

John D. Sens

posted June 29, 2007 at 10:40 am


Obviously, we need to wait and see what PM Brown does. All politicians make promises (like recently elected Democrats who were going to end the Iraq war but backed out at the first opportunity and voted to finance it further.) From what is being printed, it looks like PM Brown intends to take from those in the UK who work and pay taxes and distribute the largess to those who don’t. But, who knows?



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 10:49 am


Dear Rev John Walford
I want to discuss your points:
“it is not actually safe for British politicians to speak about God publicly – they face ridicule especially form the media.”
Rubbish!
If one believes he is not affraid of the ridicule!
Don’t you know Jesus words?
Mat.5;10-16.
“10 Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:”
“12 Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.”
“13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.”
“14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.”
“15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.”
“16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
All British politicians are mocked everyday regardless!
Brown is a war criminal!
He is in favour of abortion for children without parental consent!
Is this to be Christian?!
Excuse me Rev John Walford but your Moral Compass as turned South!
About Scotland…
Are you sure you know more Scottish people than those that are pro-independence?
If England hasn’t an imperialist hold over Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Falklands, Canada, Australia, etc. what does it have then?!
I’m going to write what a Canadian friend once told me:
“When it comes to the Elizabeth II, I say God shave the Queen!”
Were those words clear enough?!
Rev John Walford, you should trust in God, not in Westminster!
Antisthenes
United Kingdom



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:04 am


JimII,
I don’t see how any of these examples implies that GWB dehumanizes people for disagreeing with his religious convictions.
1. A President has the right to hire who he wishes. Bill C. hired some radical libs., but hey, he won the election.
2. Stem Cells. W stands on his principles on this issue and you are attacking him.
3. Iraq. Some congressmen opposed W’s Iraq/Afghanistan policy, but I don’t remember them being treated as less than human or patriotic.
If anything your examples are occasions when W has been attacked for his religious convictions.
Love Ya Back
Jeff



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:15 am


Dear Jim Beattie,
you wrote:
“I am sure there is no statement in the New Testament about degrees of sin only that we ALL are sinners and fall short of God’s glory.”
Well you are wrong!
Take these ones as examples:
Mat. 10;14-15
“14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet.”
“15 Amen I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”
Mat. 11;23-24
“23 And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day.”
“24 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”
Mat. 10;11-15
“11 Even the very dust of your city that cleaveth to us, we wipe off against you. Yet know this, that the kingdom of God is at hand.”
“12 I say to you, it shall be more tolerable at that day for Sodom, than for that city.”
“13 Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida. For if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the mighty works that have been wrought in you, they would have done penance long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”
“14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgement, than for you.”
“15 And thou, Capharnaum, which art exalted unto heaven, thou shalt be thrust down to hell.”
Anyway, I’m not pro-Bush – he is a war criminal – but to portray Brown almost like a Saint it is utterly ridiculous!
This war criminal has the blood of more than 700000 persons – including all the aborted babies in the UK during since he joined the Government – covering him!
This individual should be facing the International Court and not receiving a “face-lift” from Jim Wallis, who is clearly out-of-touch!
I guess Wallis fame has turned his head around…



report abuse
 

Father Tiago Thorlby

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:15 am


When Margaret Thatcher took office in 1979 and spouted out the St. Francis prayer, I immediately dived for my … rosary beads!
She then began a most shocking dismantling of British Society, concentrating riches and wealth in the hands of the fewer and fewer … at the expense of the poorer and poorer.
So when Gordon Brown comes to office are we supposed to believe that “just because” he is son of a Presbyterian minister, the dream of Isaiah, “New Heaven, New Earth” will come about?
Look at his track record whilst he was in charge of the Nation´s money … not very encouraging for the underdeveloped (underjusticed!) world.
Sorry, Jim and Sojuourner Friends: I believe in Liberation Theology or rather, if theology doesn´t liberate, it ain´t theology! – and in this theology, it is the praxis that is important (practice the truth – don´t be content to just preach it: John 3:21)
Almost 40 years in Brasil, with those who are exiled in their own country, have taught me to be wary of “white man who speaks with forked tongue”.



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:19 am


nad2,
So you disagree with Bush’s worldview. He has been very upfront about what he believes and why he believes how he does. So oppose him, disagree with him. None of your examples relate to Bush addressing someone who disagree with his religious convictions. Actually your post is an example of Bush being attacked for his religious convictions.
My take on terrorism in this question was more in the Muslim versus Christian area. Him stating his belief through his religious terminology isn’t an attack on those who oppose his policies. They are free to use similar terminology.
OBTW, I feel called of God.
Jeff



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:51 am


I grew up here in Canada surrounded by numerous American families whose children were my childhood chums. Starting in 1956, there hasn’t been one U.S. election that’s taken place w/o my ex-pat American friends claiming that “Eisenhower/Kennedy/Goldwater/Nixon/Ford/Carter, et al is a Christian.”
Humphrey was the only Buddhist, as I recall.
It didn’t take me long to learn that when a nation’s civic religion is X, should we be surprised when X is politicized and manipulated to the max in order to benefit whoever is running for political office.
In Canada, at least to date, we assume that most people running for Prime Minister are nominally Christian. Accordingly, most Canadians (there is a small if vocal “religious right” patterned after its U.S. counterpart) prefer our politicians keep their personal faith personal. Live it, don’t label it.
While respecting the somewhat unique DNA of the USA when it comes to the relnship between politics and religion, I respectfully suggest history verifies that politicians have been known to use any and all means to serve their political ends, including religion. So hear them accordingly. Didn’t the Billy Graham fiasco with Nixon teach anything in this regard?
Accordingly, I repeat:
That George Bush apparently claims/ed God called him to be President is hilarious. That’s kind of like playing the “trump” card up front, isn’t it?
That anybody actually took/takes him or any politician who makes a similar claim SERIOUSLY is downright scary!



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:57 am


Antithenes wrote: “I’m going to write what a Canadian friend once told me:
“When it comes to the Elizabeth II, I say God shave the Queen!”
A, please advise regarding your Canadian friend’s address and phone number so that I might hunt him down and disabuse him of his disrespect, pronto!
Prince Harry was just here in our city (while on some military mission to a local facility) visting all the bars and pinching all the ladies and generally giving us all a firm reminder as to why God needs to save the (royalty).



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:12 pm


Some congressmen opposed W’s Iraq/Afghanistan policy, but I don’t remember them being treated as less than human or patriotic.
They were.



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:16 pm


Excuse me canucklehead:
are you pro or against royalty?
So – by you own account -, Harry visited all the bars in your city, and pinched all the ladies and you support him?!
What kind of Moral Compass do you have?
Does it show South?
Or Buckingham Palace?
That anybody actually takes British Royalties SERIOUSLY is downright scary!
Anyway, I was just giving examples of English Imperialism!
And my friend lives in a FREE SOCIETY AND HAS THE RIGHT TO SAY WHAT HE SAID ABOUT THE QUEEN!
I guess you don’t understand the concept of free speech!
In England, there are those that say (and write)worse things than him!
You like to have the freedom to doubt Bush’s “divine inspiration” and to be able to write:
“That George Bush apparently claims/ed God called him to be President is hilarious.”
Don’t you?
So why others can’t have the same freedom about the Queen?
You have double standards!



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:43 pm


Posted by: canucklehead | June 29, 2007 11:51 AM
Humphrey was the only Buddhist, as I recall.
Which ‘Humphery’ are you talking about…
Hubbie or Skippy?
Have a great day -
.



report abuse
 

Steve Cornforth

posted June 29, 2007 at 1:23 pm


As a Brit I am cautiously optimistic. One reporter warned that he will more interested in sending food to Africa than troops to Iraq.
Amen to that!
He has always come across as an intellectual heavyweight whose handling of the economy for 10 years has been masterful.
Let’s hope and pray that the tide is changing and that this will continue with the US election next year.



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:16 pm


Steve are you that naive?!
See the light:
Telegraph.co.uk Last Updated: 2:18am BST 13/06/2007
Brown attacks blunders over war in Iraq
By George Jones, Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson
Mr Brown stood by the invasion of Iraq, which he said was a collective Cabinet decision.
“We made the decision. I take responsibility for that decision,” he said.
Precisely what I wrote before!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/12/niraq112.xml
BBC Friday, 30 March 2007, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Brown praises ‘courage’ of troops
Gordon Brown praised the ‘bravery’ of troops fighting the Taleban
Chancellor Gordon Brown has told UK troops in Afghanistan they are fighting on one of the “frontlines against international terrorism”.
Mr Brown is visiting Camp Bastion, Helmand in the south of the country to meet military commanders and local political leaders.
During the surprise visit, he praised troops for their “great courage and bravery” in fighting the Taleban.
He also announced further investments in Merlin and Chinook helicopters.
The chancellor ate lunch with personnel at what is the UK’s largest base in Afghanistan, telling them: “It’s good to see you. It’s much appreciated, what you are doing.”
Mr Brown announced an extra £400m for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in his Budget last week.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6509327.stm
Are these enough to see the truth about Brown’s true intentions or not?



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:44 pm


It is unbelievable that Jim Wallis praises A BUSH ALLY that is also responsible for the current wars!
And Jim did it without even noticing it!
Is this Jim another Jim or is it the same that, on Friday, March 16, 2007, in Washington’s National Cathedral, stated the following:
“By our deepest convictions about Christian standards and teaching, the war in Iraq was not just a well-intended mistake or only mismanaged.”
“This war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong – and was from the very start.”
“It cannot be justified with either the teaching of Jesus Christ or the criteria of St. Augustine’s just war.”
“It simply doesn’t pass either test, and did not from its beginning.”
“This war is not just an offense against the young Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice or the Iraqis who have paid such a horrible price.”
“This war is not only an offense to the poor at home and around the world who have paid the price of misdirected resources and priorities – this war is also an offense against God.”
http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2007/03/jim-wallis-marching-orders.html
WOW!
Great words Jim!
I couldn’t agree more!
However, it seems they were just that!
WORDS!
Now you support one of the perpretrators of those crimes as if it was a political Messiah of some sort that will bring Peace and Justice to the World – only Jesus can do that!
BROWN IS INVOLVED IN THE WARS!
BROWN TOOK PART IN THE DECISION OF STARTING THE WARS!
BROWN MADE THE BUDGETS THAT HAVE SUSTAINED BRITISH MILITARY OCCUPATIONS BOTH IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN!
Jim if this is not being deluded I don’t know what it is!
Jim you have just lost your credibility – if you had it I mean…



report abuse
 

mark

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:48 pm


I’m waiting to see what happens. I think that Brown, unlike Blair, is probably a man of integrity. I think he genuinely cares about poverty, both at home and abroad – the introduction of tax credits for low-income families, while cumbersome in its application, has proved to be a positive move, and Britain has actually taken moves to deal with the global debt crisis. (But what about the steady sucking of wealth from south to north that happens as a result of unfair trade policies? – neither he nor any other world leader has seriously addressed that.) Brown is apparently beginning to genuinely care about the effects of global warming – but Britain would be much further along the road to reducing its CO2 emissions if as Chancellor he had simply copied the highly successful policies developed to encourage renewables in Germany. Brown’s choice of ministers suggests he _might_ stop to ask the right questions before backing any fresh imperial aggression. (But I’d like to know why he didn’t ask those questions before the assault on Iraq.)
I’m personally not happy with the policies he insisted on for health and transport, and I think they will come back to haunt him.
But the big question is: what will increased power do to the man? He is represented as being a bit of control freak already (whether accurately I don’t know). I don’t think it is an accident that Jesus again and again warns against seeking to be “the greatest” and that his ministry worked through those who were powerless in the world’s terms. The best thing that can happen for Gordon Brown (and anyone else in his situation) is for people to keep him accountable, making his life difficult in the process if necessary. The last thing Britain needs is another Thatcher or another Blair.
Mark



report abuse
 

libby2max

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:21 pm


Moderatelade|June28 4:16pm
“God puts leaders into office-no-matter what people think.”
No- we put leaders into office – not God and a lot of it is what we think. And the majority or political party who has the most money usually wins. It’s a formula of our political system- not God. and then those are the ideals taken it to the big house. I don’t think God “puts” people in office- WE the PEOPLE do…. and while I’m at it… Go Barack Obama!
lovemercy|June28 5:02pm
Thanks – refreshing! Kudos to you over and over and over again!
Loved the whole post.
From me:
Gordan Brown has ideals (from what I have read of this particular article) and I hope that he pursues them and is not “corrupted” by the political system that can so easily happen. Politicians do a lot of talk and no action. Wait- no that never happens :)! That’s always an adventure!
But you know- I’m going to stay optimistic and watch how things unfold. I’m sure my Economist, New Yorker, and Harper magazines will have very interesting articles as days pass.
Looking forward to it!
Lib



report abuse
 

mark

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:30 pm


Lib,
If you want to understand what’s happening in a European country, I don’t think your choice of reading will get you much past first base. Try the Guardian and Der Spiegel for starters. And the London-based Christian thinktank Ekklesia does a good news service too.
Mark



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:56 pm


Hey Mark and Lib, why don’t you read the artiles I provided and wake up?



report abuse
 

Ed Schreiber

posted June 29, 2007 at 4:39 pm


Wasn’t it “Sting” who sang, “There is no political solution”? And wasn’t it “The Who” who sang, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”? And isn’t it written in the Psalms, “Don’t put your trust in ‘politicians’”(a paraphrase of ‘kings’ or ‘princes’)?
The kingdoms of this world are not, nor have they ever been, the kingdom of God where one should hope for salvation, but they are places where we all hope and pray some semblance of justice might prevail, and we strive for that in a fallen world.
In my humble opinion, as one who has sometimes shot of my mouth and regretted it very quickly after firing off an e-mail, I would suggest that the blogs one reads here are symptomatic of what is happening in our world, and I agree with the merciful one who wrote an entry above, as it saddens me too to read them.
I attended a peace conference in Chicago not long ago sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I’m hoping to begin creating a Shalom Center at the church I serve. I think that we, as Christians, and those of the Jewish and Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist communities as well as those of other faith communities, need to try to engage in calm discourse on global politics, and I think Jim is trying to put things on that level when talking about the new leader of a nation which has been our ally in war and which we hope will work with us to strive for peace. If followers of Christ can’t engage in peaceful discourse without engaging in character assassination, how can we expect to make a difference in this fallen world?



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 5:03 pm


Ed:
good start;
terrible finish!
What happened?
Jim is promoting a WAR CRIMINAL HAS IF BROWN WAS A SAINT!
STRIVE FOR PEACE?
BROWN IS COVERED WITH THE BLOOD OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS HUMAN BEINGS!
I’m sick!
Is everybody gone blind?!
Luke 18:8
I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?



report abuse
 

mark

posted June 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm


Antisthenes -
I agree that Gordon Brown is complicit in the state-sponsored violence of the Blair government – even though (no, actually _because_) he seemed to be going out of his way to avoid the subject at the time. But I also think that he is more capable than Blair of taking a moral stance. We have to give this sinner a chance to repent, even though he’s now got himself into a job that of its very nature makes repentance difficult. And even if he doesn’t repent, it is better for the world if he subtly changes the policies while saving face. His choice of ministers (esp. Mark Malloch-Brown) gives me hope that at least the latter is happening.
I agree that Jim’s enthusiasm is misplaced – but neither do I think we should necessarily expect very much of people who have been tarnished by power and by the seeking of power. I’m not going to condemn a politician for behaving like a politician, any more than I’m going to condemn my cat for behaving like a cat…
Mark



report abuse
 

libby2max

posted June 29, 2007 at 6:25 pm


mark|june29 3:30
“My readings will get me much past first base.”
I have read the Guardian newspaper. Thanks for the recommendation. Hey have read it before and I’ll give it a go when I need to.
Appreciate the recommendation. I was just responding to this particular thread article. Hey, but if something will help me understand better- I’m all for stuff like that! :-)
Antisthenes|June29 3:56
I did read what you posted(as comments) and the article that appears to be a link above-is that the one you were talking about? All for reading it.
Thank you. And it would make me very sad if Brown was involved in the war and starting it. I have not done the research on him…. I am just replying to what this article on the post is stating.
I am not out to prove points or state that I know the issue better than another…. I am just simply replying to the article thread that is presented.
Just giddy about the variety though! Love it!
Lib



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted June 29, 2007 at 7:48 pm


Antisthenes – yowser, lighten up, dude; are you such an uptight Brit that you can’t recognize cynicism of any kind let alone that inherent in my handle = canucklehead?
put some Guiness in your spot o’ tea, man! Margaret’s no longer in control!



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 29, 2007 at 8:34 pm


Hey canucklehead, I’m sorry if I misunderstood you.
However, if I did it seems to me that you used the wrong word: cynicism.
It does not mean what you think!
Are you sure you didn’t mean irony or sarcasm?
BTW do you know who was Antisthenes?
Also, I don’t drink alcohol. For me Guiness is just another type of sewage.
Christian Greetings



report abuse
 

Rev John Walford

posted June 29, 2007 at 8:50 pm


Antisthenes,
it is sad when people simply abuse others as you have abused me. I forgive you.
It’s even sadder when that abuse has nothing to do with anyhting that I said. You say that you are from the UK but you do not appear to have a grasp of the realities if political life here.
I assure you that my “Moral Compass” has little to do with where I live and much more with my desire to be a disciple of Christ.
The state of the nation in Britain does mean that many politicians are afraid to speak of their faith for fear of being ridiculed and losing votes. As Alistair Campbell once said: “We don’t do the God thing here”. I didn’t say that was how it should be or that they were right to behave in that way .
“About Scotland…
Are you sure you know more Scottish people than those that are pro-independence?” I know about 50 Scots and not one is in favour of indepence. Moreover opinion polls in Scotland are consistently against independence
“If England hasn’t an imperialist hold over Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Falklands, Canada, Australia, etc. what does it have then?!” Well last time I looked Canada and Australia were independent nations with the full rights of self-determination; Gibaltar voted not long ago over reunification with Spain and the result was about 95% wanting to stay British; I think the figure is pretty similar in the Falklands. There is a majority in Northern Irleand and an overwhelming majority in Wales that want to keep the United Kingdom.
“Rev John Walford, you should trust in God, not in Westminster!” I’m sure when you reflect on your arrogance in this statement you will want to apologise. You know nothing about me but feel able to judge my life. It is Christ that will transform this world not political systems
Peace and blessings to you
Rev John Walford



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:07 am


Rick,
Once again, examples.
Jeff



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 30, 2007 at 1:39 am


Once again, examples.
One word: “Defeatocrats.”



report abuse
 

Mark

posted June 30, 2007 at 2:27 am


The debate between Antisthenes and John touches on issues that some people might feel called to pray about.
John is of course right in pointing out the independence of Canada and Australia (the threat here in Canada is creeping loss of sovereignty to the US, not any resurgent British empire…), and the desire of the people in the remaining colonies to stay “British” (whatever that means). He’s also right to say that a majority of Scots and Welsh don’t at present want independence, though the sense of nationhood in both nations has grown massively over the last 20 years. (And it’s no longer clear what “independence” means in a progressively more interdependent Europe.)
But big changes have happened and are happening, which leave a lot of English people unsure of their national identity. In the past, it was enough for the English to define themselves as “British” because their numerical dominance of the UK ensured a political dominance, and national pride could be focussed on the size of the empire, etc.
A number of things have happened in a few decades which threaten this comfortable (and more than a little bit smug) self-image. First, the empire is no more. Second, Britain lost superpower status. Third, it has become increasingly clear that Britain is part of Europe, and this has been difficult for a lot of people to swallow. Fourth, the Scots and Welsh have begun to recover a sense of their nationhood – even if that never goes as far as independence. And fifth, the racial monoculture is no more in most parts of England (indeed in most parts of Britain) due to immigration first from former colonies and now from many other parts of the world as well.
The result is that England doesn’t really have much of a sense of identity any more, and I think is searching for a new one that it can feel good about.
I think that this – together with the loss of social cohesion through a widening of the income gap in the Thatcher and post-Thatcher years – brings a sense of insecurity, which leaves the country in a vulnerable state spiritually. All sorts of rubbish could fill the gap (and the presence of extreme racists elected to political office in a few towns, and of the occasional jihadist cell, indicates that there is a present risk, not just a future one).
I’m not sure whether or not having a Scottish prime minister will help or hinder England’s need to discover itself and get its ugly past healed. But I’m pretty sure that one thing that will help is prayer. Not that governments will follow this policy or that policy, but that the people will begin to get a better sense of who they are and how they are related to the wider world.
Mark



report abuse
 

Steve S

posted June 30, 2007 at 6:27 am


Hi Mark,
Your comment is helpful and timly. I work in the area of faith and cohesion, and know that these are rocky times in terms of how we relate to each other.
With as Mark says this being a time of international change and challenge, as well as a time of national concern, fear over terrorist agendas and how that relates to ethnic and faith differences, things very easily get confused. Unfortunately often the loudest and most straightforward voices are those of the extremes.
My prayer is that we wil find ways to see each other as individuals, not representatives of those things which separate us, and that as we learn to understand each other as individuals, we learn more about each other as well. I’ve seen this happen often enbough on a local levekl, and pray that this spreads further.
John – I like your fairly gentle but robust response. God bless.
Steve



report abuse
 

Arlyn

posted June 30, 2007 at 8:37 am


Every time a new politician that espouses by mouth the values I believe in- I think we should enjoy that taste of hope and pray for God’s blessing on those intentions. Not be cynical, angry, dismissive- instead, hope with caution (because even an evil man can turn from his ways and become righteous- Ezekiel)
And as that politician then tries to implement that vision through government policies- we as thinking christians need to critique and influence the form these methods take. For we are partners in that process. (And this is where sane people with same desires run afoul with each other. But then again, much of life is at the core a trial by error process- God didn’t outline a specific blueprint for all governments- He purposely wants us to be creative)
The rich will get richer- they are utilizing their abilities in a maximizing way and the spiral will naturally accelerate with better tools-internet. The servant with ten talents made twenty and then was rewarded another bonus by his master. The middle class will also get what they worked for- 5+5=10. The lower class if diligent- will move into the middle, if not/or unable- will lose what little they have. So why is everyone surprised at the widening gap? Didn’t the parable make that process clear? The answer to the poor is to give opportunity to all, but if as in America most of the poor are emotionally and mentally unstable, disabled or on drugs- opportunity will not raise them. Humane care and nurture is what’s our christian duty then- not trying to make others what they are not. No matter how well intentioned we may be to dream our dreams for them.



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 8:42 am


Dear Rev John Walford,
You wrote:
“I know about 50 Scots and not one is in favour of independence.“
Considering that I wrote:
“Are you sure you know more Scottish people than those that are pro-independence?”
Thanks for confirming my point…
By the way, why do you think the Scots decided to scrap tuition fees and prescription charges?
And now, decided to have one teacher for 18 pupils?
The thing is, their school system was already better than England’s anyway!
Well, and in terms of medical prescriptions, Wales did the same…
Haven’t you noticed how many people here in England are mad with the fact that Scotland and Wales are better off than England?
And how about the complaints because Scottish MPs in Westminster can decide over England but the other way around it is not possible?
People are getting angry by the minute in England!
Haven’t you noticed it?
Scotland has come up with the best way of getting its independence: to annoy the occupiers by using their money!
Amazing!
Brilliant!
Well, they are just trying to recover the riches that Westminster has stolen from them since the North Sea oil drillings started…
A long way to go yet…
And if you think there won’t be a referendum…
Keep dreaming!
There will be!
The Scottish National Party is just building up the right opportunity.
Wait and see…
It’s funny that you accused me of not having a grasp of British political life!
Really?!
I wonder how much you know and didn’t write!



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 8:45 am


Dear Rev John Walford,
About your Moral Compass…
BROWN SUPPORTS GIRLS UNDER 16 CAN GET ABORTION SERVICES WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT!
Despite UK’s all time high abortion rates!
“About 190,000 abortions take place annually in England and Wales. This is nearly a quarter of all pregnancies.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6574873.stm
“About 4,000 under-16s a year have abortions in England and Wales.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6450251.stm
190,000 KILLED BABIES!
THIS IS GENOCIDE!
AND THE SO CALLED “CHRISTIAN” BROWN IS OK WITH IT!
BROWN SUPPORTS THE WAR CRIMES IN BOTH IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN!
You are supporting an abortionist and war criminal!
Just because of dept relief?!
If this is not having a southwards Moral Compass – or maybe “Westminsterwards” – I don’t know what it is!



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 8:48 am


Dear Rev John Walford,
I mentioned English imperialism and I’ll do it again, but now with references that will confirm beyond doubt what I’m writing.
And why am I doing it?
Because you wrote this unbelievable sentence:
“Well last time I looked Canada and Australia were independent nations with the full rights of self-determination;”!
I’m sorry for “my arrogance” but I’ll give you the opportunity to look again because you are wrong!
Structure of the Government of Canada
Sovereign
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
http://www.canada.gc.ca/howgoc/glance_e.html
Government in Australia
Australia’s formal name is the Commonwealth of Australia.
The form of government used in Australia is a Constitutional Monarchy – ‘Constitutional’ because the powers and procedures of the Commonwealth Government are defined by a written constitution, and ‘Monarchy’ because Australia’s Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II.
http://www.australia.gov.au/govt-in-aust
So, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – besides the territories of Gibraltar, and Falklands -, all have England’s Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, as their head of state, and this is not imperialism?!
Since when countries having the same head of state are independent of each other?!
Dear Rev. what is your definition of independent nations?!
PS On the previous post it should have been debt not dept, obviously.



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 8:58 am


Dear Rev John Walford,
Now about the CoE.
For a long time that I thing this institution should be called the Church of Politically Correctness – CoPC.
It is amazing how afraid the CoE ministers are of standing for Christ!
But, should I be surprised?
Why was the biggest English of all time St. Thomas Moore killed?
The CoE is his killers’ heritage!
Of course, you have to say “amen” to Westminster and Number 10!
After all, it is the British Prime Minister that formally advises – to say the least – the Sovereign, on the appointment of Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England!



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 9:02 am


Dear Rev John Walford,
Stephen Glover wrote on the Daily Mail (6th April 2005):
“Our established Church has embraced moral relativism.
Is it against abortion? It seems to have no strongly fixed view.
It increasingly smiles on divorce.
It can’t make up its mind whether or not practising homosexuals should be ordained to the priesthood.
Ours is a Church whose beliefs are largely shaped by secular trends.”
I couldn’t agree more!
But Stephen went further:
“The same cannot be said of the Roman Catholic Church during the pontificate of John Paul. We may not like its unswerving moral precepts. Few of us would accept the Pope’s teaching on contraception, for example. But many Catholics do not accept it either.”
“The crucial point, though, is that the Church of Rome does not embrace moral relativism. It may sometimes be ignored by its adherents, but it does not change its policies to suit their secular beliefs.”
“The Church of England has its virtues; and, long inured to its ways, I am not about to desert it.
But if it had a stronger and a braver voice, if it proclaimed Christian certainties as Pope John Paul proclaimed them, this country might be a better ordered and a happier place.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/columnists/columnists.html?in_article_id=343767&in_page_id=1772&in_author_id=244
It seems Glover is able to see the obvious.
Unfortunately, you aren’t.
I’ll pray that God sends you His Holy Spirit to illuminate your soul!
Christian regards
Antisthenes
PS1 About my writing style: I didn’t chose the nickname Antisthenes by chance! He was one of cynicism’s fathers!
PS2 I’m sorry for so many posts but there wasn’t a way of answering properly with less. Hopefully, my posts will help people from outside the UK to understand it better.



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:30 am


Rick,
So your saying when Bush was making his case for war on Afghanistan and later Iraq he used the term Defeatocrats. I don’t recall that. And what does that have to do with dehumanizing someone because they disagree with GWB’s religious convictions.
Come on, if this happens so much, surely you can come up with something specific.
Jeff



report abuse
 

mark

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:27 pm


Antisthenes writes:
“Hopefully, my posts will help people from outside the UK to understand it better.”
Sorry, but I have to say I fear some of them may have the opposite effect.
I lived the first 46 years of my life in England, though now live in Canada. I am, and will remain, a British citizen, and I keep in touch with British politics. And I’m sorry Mr Antisthenes, but you demonstrate a basic lack of understanding of the British constitution as it works in practice (the queen is little more than a figurehead), and clearly have not picked up the subtleties and nuances of Scottish and Welsh national aspirations.
On the last point. In the recent elections for the Scottish parliament, the SNP won one more seat than Labour. It didn’t win a majority. Even if you add in other parties which support independence (Scottish Socialists) or something closer to it (Scottish Greens) there still isn’t a majority. There is clearly a spectrum of opinion in Scotland on this issue, but the current “average” position seems to be in favour of limited autonomy not independence. In Wales (where I have spent a lot of time), the average position is even less pro-independence: indeed Plaid Cymru doesn’t even use the word and they’re supposed to be the nationalists.
Mr A: your voice needs to be heard, but please check your facts first. A lot of Americans already have some pretty weird ideas about us: please don’t add to them.
Btw, Mr A, how long have you lived in Britain?
Mark



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 3:06 pm


Hi Mark,
You wrote:
“Sorry, but I have to say I fear some of them may have the opposite effect.”
I respect your opinion, I just want to point out that I put links to allow those interested to check what I said and, of course, to go beyond that.
“Mr Antisthenes, but you demonstrate a basic lack of understanding of the British constitution as it works in practice (the queen is little more than a figurehead)”.
I didn’t pretend to be a constitutional expert and I very much doubt that can be derived from what I wrote.
I just pasted what is on the official governmental websites of both Australia and Canada.
They explicitly state their Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II.
However, Rev. John Walford had written:
“Well last time I looked Canada and Australia were independent nations with the full rights of self-determination”!
Well, that clearly is not the case since they have the same Head of State as England.
So, if you don’t agree with what I pasted maybe you should complain to those governments for writing false statements.
BTW, why don’t you read this interesting piece called:
AUSTRALIAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Australian Declaration of Independence
Look at their last statement:
ALLEGIANCE TO EITHER THE BRITISH CROWN AS WE NOW KNOW IT, OR THE FAKE INTERNATIONALIST REPUBLIC OF TOMORROW IS HEREBY DISSOLVED.
http://home.alphalink.com.au/~eureka/page6.htm
Well those guys don’t consider themselves independent do they?
Interestingly enough the Monarchists consider them selves independent!
“Under our system of government Australia long ago achieved complete independence symbolised by the Queen’s title being changed, by her own consent and by Act of the Australian Parliament, to Queen of Australia.”
http://www.norepublic.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2&Itemid=3
Just because the Queen of England uses the title of Queen of Australia they are independent?!
Is this a joke?!



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Mark, I didn’t write that Wales was doing anything to be independent!
So why did you bother writing:
“In Wales (where I have spent a lot of time), the average position is even less pro-independence: indeed Plaid Cymru doesn’t even use the word and they’re supposed to be the nationalists.”
I just mentioned that many people here in England are making comparisons both with Wales and Scotland and don’t like what we all see.
Why are the Welsh and the Scots better off?
Well I think they deserve to be better off, but that is just my opinion.
About Scotland’s independence aspirations…
I don’t agree with you.
It seems to me there are a lot of signs that the independence trend is on the rise and unstoppable…
I guess you can argue that is just my opinion.
Fair enough…
But, if I read Scottish blogs it seems otherwise.
“The SNP didn’t just hit the ground running, they lapped the political field”
One of the comments states:
“It’s normal government by politicians who can make the final decisions here in Scotland. The stultifying atmosphere of the branch office has in Holyrood has been lifted. All we need now is independence to make it really work.”
http://www.sundayherald.com/oped/opinion/display.var.1494294.0.the_snp_didnt_just_hit_the_ground_running_they_lapped_the_political_field.php
Well, just another opinion I guess…
Oh, yes! About Canada, since you are there, you can ask a Quebecois – not Chrétien – what is his/her opinion about the Queen.
Christian regards
Antisthenes
PS I don’t think age or amount of time should be used as an argument. Even because it isn’t a good parameter since it is the quality of time that matters not its amount – in my opinion that is…



report abuse
 

Rev John Walford

posted June 30, 2007 at 3:52 pm


Antisthenes
I’m feeling myself drawn towards Monty Python at this point “Is this the 5 minute argument or the full half-hour?” Whatever, I am not going to continue this argument after this post as it is just getting unedifying now and I’m going on holiday.
When you accuse me of being unChristian and losing my moral compass then I regard that as abusive. Your last post was also, not least because you are going to great lengths to condemn me for things I haven’t said. I’m not even vaguely politically correct, I’ve never voted for Labour in a General Election. I’m not a member of the Church of England, I’m a Baptist and therefore believe in the separation of Church and State and the disestablishment of the Church of England. Your line of argument about pro-independence in Scotland and the invalidity of my views would mean that my views would only be relevant if I personally knew the entire population of Scotland. I confess to failing in this regard. Opinion polls are clearly in favour of maintaining the Union. Mark’s analysis of life in the UK is spot on. In passing let me point out that the Queen isn’t English she’s British, her mother was a Scot and her father a German – her real last name is not Windsor but Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. What’s more no Englishman I know has any pretensions towards ruling Australia or Canada and they can choose a different head of state any time they like. I have never supported and never will support abortion and euthenasia. Nor do I intend to relive the religious wars of the 16th Century – I’m sorry about Thomas More but I’m not really feeling personally responsible for that.I hope we’ve moved on from there to a place where all Christians can come together to witness to the desperately needy country in which we live. The Christian population is now less than 15%, let’s not waste time and energy arguing over things we actually seem to be largely in agreement about.
I wish you peace and joy in Christ
Rev John Walford



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:39 pm


So your saying when Bush was making his case for war on Afghanistan and later Iraq he used the term Defeatocrats. I don’t recall that. And what does that have to do with dehumanizing someone because they disagree with GWB’s religious convictions.
Well, he did, and he’s not the only one (and, truth be told, virtually no one disagreed at first with going into Afghanistan). And when you consider what others have said more eloquently on this thread, the context of his actions is very clear: He has declared a religious turf war.



report abuse
 

conservativechic

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:51 pm


Posted by: canucklehead | June 29, 2007 7:48 PM
Antisthenes – yowser, lighten up, dude; are you such an uptight Brit that you can’t recognize cynicism of any kind let alone that inherent in my handle = canucklehead?
put some Guiness in your spot o’ tea, man! Margaret’s no longer in control!
Me:I’m really sad that Margaret is not in control anymore!!
BUT……
Maybe Antisthenes AND the Reverand need to take canuckleheads advice.
Conserv. Chic



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted June 30, 2007 at 8:44 pm


Queen Lizzy Deux is technically the head of state in Canada – whatever that means. Oh yeah, all legislation passed by our House of Commons technically has to get her rubber stamp (from the Governor General, her well-paid representative) before it becomes official law. According to today’s Globe and Mail, 85% of Canadians don’t know the Queen is our head of state and I’ll suggest 99.9999% couldn’t care less. (My mother, who is of Lizzy’s vintage, is the 0.0001% who still stands when we sing God Shave the Queen).



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:04 pm


Dear Rev. John Walford,
I’m sorry for thinking you were part of the CoE.
But, since you are a Baptist who – thank God – is against abortion and euthanasia, I’m baffled by your support to Brown!
In God’s name why?!
Dear Rev. what inflamed me, when I read Jim’s post and its comments – including yours -, was the unbelievable blind whitewash of Brown’s record.
I expect, from any minister from any Christian denomination, to stand up firmly without double talk!
In my opinion, not doing so corresponds to fall into Satan’s PC trap.
Had you point out Brown’s responsibilities in the anti-Christian policies of the last decade I would have been quite happy.
Unfortunately, you didn’t.
Oddly enough, you stated the results of those policies and of the lack of the Churches’ commitment to be firm, to give the example, and to preach Our Lord’s words.
The UK is no longer Christian!
We are a minority with fewer rights than other beliefs!
Dear Rev.: Gordon Brown is also responsible for this state of affairs!
Isn’t this the most anti-Christian Government the UK has ever had?
Do you really thing anything will change, besides Brown’s door number?



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:07 pm


About the Queen…
I’m really puzzled with your historical note!
“In passing let me point out that the Queen isn’t English she’s British, her mother was a Scot and her father a German – her real last name is not Windsor but Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.”
Queen Elizabeth is the daughter of 2 English people: George VI – born in Norfolk – and the Queen Mother – born in London!
And her grandparents were all Londoners!
In fact, you have to go back to Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, to get to Saxony – in nowadays Germany.
Excuse me Rev., but if 3 consecutive generations of people born in England – with just one outside London – do not make the 3rd Generation totally English what will?!
I never wrote that the English people want to rule Australia or anything else!
I was talking about the political status quo:
the Queen is still the Head of State of several overseas’ countries.
This situation is something that Westminster has to sort out.
It is those in power that I accuse of being imperialists, not the common citizens, like you or me.
To finish lets go back to the Highlands:
BBC: Saturday, 30 June 2007, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
“Salmond in independence promise”
“Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has reaffirmed his commitment to independence, as the Queen marked the third session of parliament.”
“I believe in the restoration of an independent Scotland. Others in this chamber take a different view.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6255222.stm
Keep the Pro-Life fight!
I wish Our Lord’s Blessings to be with you.
Antisthenes



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:18 pm


About what is going on in the UK:
“Evil prevails when good men do nothing”
Attributed to Burke
To George Warcriminal Bullshit and Tny Bliar I would like to dedicate these ones:
“Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he’s right with God.”
“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
Blaise Pascal



report abuse
 

conservativechic

posted July 1, 2007 at 2:07 am


Antisthenes|June 30 11:18
To GWB I would like to dedicate these ones”
“Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he’s right with God.”
Me: I think I may make a new bumper sticker for my car or something!
I am a major conservative though and the words I just spoke I really didn’t mean.
And I even enjoyed more than I should have the quote from Blaise Pascal.
Blaise Pascal, “Pensées”, In Philosophy/Existentialism
Geeez I’m a mess! God shave the queen? Okay I am out for the night!
Conserv. Chic



report abuse
 

:

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:59 am


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
Aristotle



report abuse
 

mark

posted July 1, 2007 at 1:08 pm


Antisthenes, you still miss the point – sharing a figurehead (lizzie windsor) does not affect a country’s functional independence. Canada is independent from Britain in every other regard, and could choose to ditch the British monarchy at any time if people thought it actually mattered.
Actually I think that British constitutional arrangements are deformed by the existence of monarchy (too much power in the hands of the prime minister), but so far as I can see, Canada’s constitution isn’t.
Anyone concerned about Canadian independence should be looking instead at the implications of successive trade deals with the US. The doctrine of manifest destiny is a serious threat; a now-defunct empire isn’t.
Canucklehead – your mother would find a few kindred spirits in my village here in Saskatchewan. There are still extremely posed portraits of liz’n’phil on the wall at the entrance to the community centre; and I broke a long-held tradition at last year’s remembrance day service by excluding “God save the queen” from the liturgy. (No doubt it will be back in next year when someone else leads it.) But, as you say, it’s the older generation – especially the ones that went through WW2 and still feel intensely bonded to a Britain that no longer exists.
Mark



report abuse
 

mark

posted July 1, 2007 at 1:31 pm


Antisthenes:
“lets go back to the Highlands:
BBC: Saturday, 30 June 2007… ‘Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has reaffirmed his commitment to independence, as the Queen marked the third session of parliament…. I believe in the restoration of an independent Scotland. Others in this chamber take a different view.’”
A silly little point – Edinburgh isn’t in the highlands.
A more substantial point – whatever you or I might prefer (and actually I have a lot of sympathy for the nationalist cause in Scotland), Alex Salmond does not have a majority for independence in the parliament.
But let’s imagine opinion were to shift so that the majority favour independence, and this is confirmed by a referendum. Would they keep the British monarchy (after all Scotland has a prior claim to them – James I of England was already James VI of Scotland)? If they did, would that make England a subject of Scottish imperialism? Or vice versa?
mark



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:02 pm


Mark, thanks for telling our American friends that
Edinburgh isn’t in the highlands.
I wrote that to introduce Scotland in a literary fashion – to change the style a little…
Well you think I still miss the point..
I don’t think so.
To have the same figurehead, in my opinion – and I’m not alone – it isn’t to be independent.
I guess many Americans would agree with me.
But, this is just guess.
You made a good point about the British monarchy.
That question can be asked right now!
To me though, I follow the criteria of the place where the Queen was born and lives.
As I wrote before, the Royal Family is English for 5 generations now – considering William and Harry – and if we follow the matrilineal lineage, the Royals are also Londoners for 5 generations.
They are more than English.
If you want my opinion, I think the Scots will go for a system between the nowadays UK and Canada (or Australia): the same head of state – with a different title -, with an independent parliament, but probably they would continue to use the same currency and would build common foreign and defence policies with the rest of Britain.
The difference here is that both Governments would the same powers.
Therefore, the decisions would have to be shared – something that doesn’t happen now, as Westminster supersedes in those areas.
Only my opinion.
I have no bases to support what I wrote.
It just seems to me to be the most realistic approach…
Christian Regards
Antisthenes



report abuse
 

Carl Copas

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:22 pm


Antisthenes = Albion’s Donny????



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:53 pm


Carl Copas:
“Antisthenes = Albion’s Donny????”
Who is Donny?



report abuse
 

Antisthenes

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:58 pm


Donny Osmond?!
For God’s sake no!



report abuse
 

Truth Sayer

posted December 9, 2007 at 1:11 pm


I think this explains a lot about politicians…
You can always tell a ‘bad’ politician from a ‘good’ politician. The ‘good’ politician discusses in open dialog with his people, and a ‘bad’ politician always has a hidden agenda; he does not want the people to know anything at all.
I guess now you can tell which politician, right?



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.