Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Ecclesia and Lord Carey

Thanks to Vaughan Jones from Ecclesia my Blog comments concerning Lord Carey and Immigration have done the rounds:

Needless to say, I agree with him.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Responding to Lord Carey's Times Opinion

The UK should have an effective immigration policy and those who migrate to these Islands should respect our values and diverse traditions – including our Christian heritage. Abiding by our laws is also a must.

Unfortunately, Lord Carey has ventured unwisely beyond such issues in today’s Times to discuss the supposed ‘DNA of our nation’. Paradoxically, for someone so intent on putting others through hoops as they arrive on our shores, he seems to be remarkably unaware of the cultural and political diversity of modern Britain.

His sense of the ‘DNA of our nation’ will not be shared by many good British citizens of different faiths and of none. The UK now also has three devolved Governments containing parties with a sense of national identity that isn’t primarily British. This reality impacts increasingly on faith communities. The notion that migrants to Wales should be made to believe that they live in a country with an established church is as quaint as it is erroneous. Wales has no established church.

Lord Carey’s discussion around matters of faith is deeply problematic. Migrants who wish to enter the UK lawfully cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their religion or belief. His comments regarding Sharia Law and ghettos are also unhelpful. If the right of the established Church of England to regulate its own affairs through Canon Law belongs to the very DNA of a nation and if Judaism’s use of Beth Din Courts to resolve civil disputes is deemed beneficial, the lawful exercise of Sharia Law by Muslims cannot be demeaned merely as an exercise appertaining to a 'ghetto'. If faith communities are to be viewed mainly through the prism of their extremists, most will stand condemned.

Crucially, the campaign for Balanced Migration has missed the point in seeking to counter the BNP. It’s not the 70 million too many that bother the BNP: it’s their view of the ethnicity of the one that’s too many. Conversations around the supposed ‘DNA of our nation’ and the ‘nature’ of those who wish to come here have now provided an already obese creature with the comfort of a slightly larger belt.

Lord Carey's Opinion:

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sorry Lord Carey

Sorry Lord Carey. Migrants who have the skills we need and respects our ways cannot be discriminated against because of their faith or lack of it. It's the calling of the Church to proclaim and uphold the Gospel not the UK Border Agency.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Wootton Bassett

Today, the bodies of more British soldiers were returned from Afghanistam. I thought a lot about them and their families.

Faith leaders would do well not to give their unequivocal support to any military campaign: faith leaders should always give the bereaved families of soldiers lost in battle their deepest pastoral support. It's not the place for protest or politics.

Islam4UK have let us all down. Especially those who have deep reservations about war.

Monday, 4 January 2010


Noticed an interesting piece in today's Independent by Philip Hensher on the new Irish blasphemy laws. As from 1st January it's unlawful to publish or utter matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in matters held sacred by any religion.

I don't enjoy having my faith insulted but I'm just wondering whether some religions or religious practices could do with being insulted.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

So it's not a lucky shirt then...

I set out to be good today. It almost worked.

Things began well. I went to church in Pontypridd for the early Communion. It was good to be with friends and I always enjoy services that don't have hymns.

I enjoy reading some of the Sunday Times on Sunday mornings these days. It's one of those things that I'll do for a while.

Back home, I put the Christmas decorations in the attic and I got ready for the match. I went down to the gym proudly wearing my Manchester United shirt. I was the only one in the gym to be so bold. I learnt two years ago that a good way to deal with the weight thing is to exercise as United play. I got rid of 800 calories over two hours. That was good.

At half time I met a friend from the Muslim community. He doesn't support United but noticed the shirt. We spoke briefly about how to deal with the Abdulmutallab thing - and the reaction to it. Someone from the gym walked past. He probably didn't expect someone wearing a Manchester United shirt and a Muslim on a training bike to sort some of the world's problems out. That's a little sad. Talking always helps.

Manchester United lost 0:1 to Leeds United. That wasn't good. We are no longer in the FA Cup. I like my shirt, but wearing it didn't get off to a good start.

The football thing matters but not that much. I'm more worried about the endless conversations about the Muslim community and radicalisation in the papers today. I hope and pray that the mainstream Muslim community will be heard by the radicals. Getting the mainstream to shout loudly at the likes of Abdulmutallab won't do much good. Finding a way to hold conversations that prevent radicalisation is vital but becoming far more difficult. Got to keep trying though...