If I were the Archbishop of Canterbury I too would feel distinctly uncomfortable.
Speaking on a radio phone-in, Justin Welby said he had stood by a mass grave of 330 Christians murdered in Nigeria because of gay weddings in America. The murderers justified the massacre by saying
‘If we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians’.
A friend told me an intriguing story about a funeral. The dead man’s grandson prepared for the cremation by dressing his grandfather as he had normally dressed when leaving the house: with his jacket, and in the pockets a ten pound note, a mobile phone, some cigarettes and a lighter.
These would all be burnt in the crematorium. Nevertheless the grandson, a man who did not consider himself a religious believer, insisted on dressing him like this. Something must have been going on at a subconscious level.
In Friday’s Church Times Andrew Brown quotes an article by John Gray:
With few exceptions, contemporary atheists are earnest and militant liberals. Awkwardly, Nietzsche pointed out that liberal values derive from Jewish and Christian monotheism, and rejected these values for that very reason. There is no basis – whether in logic or history – for the prevailing notion that atheism and liberalism go together. Illustrating this fact, Nietzshe can only be an embarrassment for atheists today. Worse, they can’t help dimly suspecting they embody precisely the kind of pious freethinker that Nietzsche despised and mocked: loud in their mawkish reverence for humanity, and stridently censorious of any criticism of liberal hopes.
I have been interested to read in recent days the questions which have been raised about statins as a 'wonder drug' – including those raised by Jonathan on this blog.
He wrote as someone who had had adverse reactions to the drug. There is controversy about just how widespread such side-effects are (an issue of fact) and also how far they should influence the debate (an issue of value). For him, however, the tendency to rely on such drugs to prolong people’s lifespans raises theological questions. Should we really be so obsessed with prolonging lives at all costs, including the cost of unpleasant side-effects? Might this not be described as a manifestation of lack of faith in a good Creator?
There has been renewed speculation recently over the credibility of so called ‘out of body’ experiences.
These are what some people who have been near death know as various forms of other consciousness, when one sees oneself from a distance, or sees a kind of light at the end of what appears to be impenetrable darkness.