Smug Christians and Jewish sacrifices

Ancient Greek sacrificeThere is a version of Christianity, still sadly all too common, that claims to accept everything in the Bible literally as divine revelation and is not interested in information from any other source.

Quite often such Christians positively disapprove of religious insights gathered from other sources. Because this is a hopelessly unrealistic approach to religious understanding it often produces bizarre results.

This post is about one such result.

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Blood lines

High Wood cemetery FranceI tried to stay with the commemorative service for World War I at Westminster Abbey which was televised last night, but there was too much talking going on, too many worthy people being interviewed and too much colour. War is fundamentally monochrome, apart from the colour of blood.

I searched i-player for something which might resonate more truthfully with the events being commemorated and came across a sensitive dramatisation of diaries written by people from all the nations who had been caught up in that conflict.

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Clergy views on same sex marriages

same sex marriageI’ve had a request from a medical student for information about clergy views on same-sex marriages. I’m posting it here, together with my responses, in case anybody is interested.

The request was for information about:

• ​The views of those who would wish to conduct same sex marriages on church property but are currently not permitted to do so.
• The beliefs of your colleagues who do not wish to perform same sex marriage
• The beliefs of the establishment who does not want to condone same sex marriage
• Whether you think Anglican ministers should be allowed to conduct same-sex marriage on grounds of 'freedom of conscience.'

This is the reply I sent. Let me know if you think I’ve got it wrong.

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Demons are bad news: can we do without them?

A short while ago I received this message from a correspondent:


I do not believe in a devil, or demons. This difference in belief has lead to various familial arguments I'd rather avoided, but could not. My mother is quite the fundamentalist who loves her demonology and becomes rather religious about it. To deny Satan is to deny the Bible.
When my oldest daughter would visit, the doctrines of demons would be discussed (yes, attacks on my non-belief), and my daughter would wet the bed. But only at Grandmother's house. My mother phoned and inquired if my daughter wet the bed at my home? "Of course not."

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With sighs too deep for words

GazaBurningWhat are we to do in the face of the suffering we see in Gaza? And not only in Gaza, but in the whole of the Middle East. We are there, virtually, at around 7pm every evening. Are we to ‘switch off’ at the end of the news and try to return to our normal lives, even if they are not always all that normal? How are we to think of other things? Is it even possible, at the stage which these various conflicts have reached, to do so?

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