Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ missionizing

September 3, 2014 • 10:32 am

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip was apparently inspired by a Torygraph piece reporting how Dominic Grieve, MP and “former Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland”, was kvetching because “aggressive secularism” was pushing religion in Britain “out of the public space” (my emphasis in excerpt below):

Britain is at risk of being “sanitised” of faith because an “aggressive form of secularism” in workplaces and public bodies is forcing Christians to hide their beliefs, a former attorney general has warned.

Dominic Grieve said he found it “quite extraordinary” that people were being sacked or disciplined for expressing their beliefs at work.

He described Christianity as a “powerful force for good” in modern Britain and warned that Christians should not be “intimidated” and “excluded” for their beliefs.

He said that politicians and public figures should not be afraid of “doing God” and that they have a duty to explain how their beliefs inform their decisions.

The “appalling” scenes in Iraq, which have seen Islamic extremists behead and crucify religious minorities including Christians, showed that it was “more important than ever” for people to express their religious beliefs, he said.

Unless those people are Muslims, of course! The piece goes on, but the last two lines perfectly express the strip’s message:

2014-09-03

And this sounds like American right-wing palaver, doesn’t it?:

Mr Grieve, a practising Anglican, said that Britain is “underpinned” by Christian ethics and principles.

. . . However, earlier this year the Prime Minister said he has found greater strength in religion and suggested that Britain should be unashamedly “evangelical” about its Christian faith.

Mr Grieve said: “I think politicians should express their faith. I have never adhered to the Blair view that we don’t do God, indeed I’m not sure that Blair does. I think that people with faith have an entitlement to explain where that places them in approaching problems.

“I think that those of us who are politicians and Christians should be in the business of doing it.

“It doesn’t mean that we have the monopoly of wisdom, but I do think Christianity has played an enormous role in shaping this country.

“It’s a very powerful force in this country [but] I think it’s underrated, and partly because in the past it has failed to express itself as clearly as it might.

I thought this kind of proselytizing and characterization of a nation as “founded on Christianity” was limited to the U.S. I haven’t followed this story, but I hope the Brits took out big time after this faith-soaked dupe.  They could use a First Amendment over the pond.

80 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ missionizing

  1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that there are none so heinously persecuted as those belonging to a religion that is “a very powerful force” in a country.

    What a maroon.

      1. Yes. However public displays of religiosity are just not the cool thing to do in Western Europe. People may be moreorless tolerant or even compassionate towards a person who does such a thing, but mostly because they regard them as barking mad.

        1. That sounds soooo inviting. Makes me want to get up an move to Western Europe. The U.S. is barking, and barking, and howling at the moon.

              1. I’m going to go with no because no-one has ever been able to shove a thermometer into a werewolf’s orifices and live to tell the tale, so no-one can refute my beliefs.

              2. I’ll just get the “Mwhahahahahaha” tape, echo chamber, the van de Graaf generator, a couple of good size Tesla coils and an assistant called Igor …
                Refutation is in work.

        2. Same in NZ. Although a small majority are still believers, just wearing a cross will get you considered a weirdo radical by most.

  2. It seems as though extremism from Muslims is striking fear into the hearts of non-Muslims in England causing confusion for those in power on how best to react. Advocating the eradication of all religion, of course, is out of the question for them, so it appears as though they are turning to their own religion, christinsanity, for salvation. The level, the depth, of self denial and self deception is astounding. The stigma of christinsanity goes bone deep in too many people, but it’s changing. The realization by the majority that religion is a lie is, I feel, inevitable and most surely underway, but it’s going to take some time. It’s the way of the universe. Everything changes, but it does so slowly. And in this case I’m afraid it will also be quite painful.

  3. And this is the man who proposed that British MPs should be able to overrule decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. There are none so persecuted as those that have lost the ability to persecute.

    1. There are none so persecuted as those that have lost the ability to persecute.

      After Voltaire, IIRC?

  4. “Mr Grieve said: “I think politicians should express their faith. I have never adhered to the Blair view that we don’t do God, indeed I’m not sure that Blair does. ” and Blair indeed didn’t. He actively supported these fundamentalist Christian schools (Vairy?).
    The problem is that Western Europe (including The UK) will be in majority Islamic, or at least of Islamic descent, within a few decades. This is simple demographics, a ‘fact’, unless the reproductive pattern radically changes (not impossible).
    Do we fight this? If so, is it better to go the ‘Christian” way (as Ayaan Hirshi Ali proposes), or the Enlightenment, secular way? The science way?
    I tend to disagree with Hirsi Ali there and would rather go for the Enlightenment, secular way, but then I’ve not been subjected to an Islamic brainwash in my youth, only a Christian one, Maybe I’m wrong and Ayaan and Grieve are right.
    I’ll take tamed (by Enlightenment) Christianity over untamed Islam anytime…

      1. Adding up the numbers there, I get 458.3 million people in “Europe” (this includes Switzerland, so it’s not just the EU ; but it excludes Norway, and includes Sweden, which makes it hard to work out what their inclusion criteria are. Maybe the Noggins just don’t bother to record religious affiliation, as it’s not important enough to count.)
        Where was I? Total population 458.3 million ; Muslim population 88.9 million.
        That group of countries includes Turkey, who make up 3/4 of the Muslim population counted. Yes, Mr Ricky, the UK is counted there.
        So … assuming 50% of the Muslim population to be fertile females, and zero miscarriage and child mortality, and 3/4 years per pregnancy with 1 month to get pregnant again, that would require 8.5 years of flat-out reproduction for the the Muslims to form a majority. Oh, sorry, plus 18 years for them to become of voting age.
        Damn, I forgot to include twin births. That’ll shave a couple of years off the 26 years.
        Where’s my Sithrak spit and skull! We must fight off these over-breeding hordes!

        1. Oh, excluding Turkey, the remaining European Muslims would require just shy of 50 years to take over.
          Can’t men count up to 21 without taking off their shoes and underwear any more (22 for women)?

      1. Please show your working.

        [Picture of piece of graffiti, signed “BNP, EDL, UKIP” and a swastika.

          1. I was thinking of the 3-legged ones. Not that I’ve got anything particularly against the Isle of Mannies. But … well … just outside Liverpool, got to watch them. And certainly not park the car anywhere nearby.

  5. it has failed to express itself as clearly as it might.

    As opposed to the IS of course, which has expressed the meaning of religion clearly. (O.o)

  6. Dominic Grieve said he found it “quite extraordinary” that people were being sacked or disciplined for expressing their beliefs at work.

    I’d find it quite extroadinary too…if that were happening, at face value. But at least in the US, every time we look into such events, it turns out the believer was fired for doing something fireable, not ‘merely’ expressing belief.

    1. Yes, this has [citation needed] written all over it. Maybe there are Britons here who can expound on what good Grieve is referring to.

      1. Nope. eric got it right straight off the bat. At least as far as I’ve heard, every one of the examples spouted to support such claims is in someway fudged or simply a lie. There is no such thing going on. To quote eric “every time we look into such events, it turns out the believer was fired for doing something fireable, not ‘merely’ expressing belief”

        1. Oops, just to clarify Draken, upon re-reading my comment seems initially a little antagonistic towards you. My opening of “nope” was an answer to your question “Maybe there are Britons here who can expound on what good Grieve is referring to.” The answer is that nope, no such thing is going on. I just wanted to clear that up. 🙂

        2. Nope. eric got it right straight off the bat.

          I have this image of news delivered to the end user tattooed on the leather of a bat’s wing. Very Hogwarts.

  7. “The “appalling” scenes in Iraq, which have seen Islamic extremists behead and crucify religious minorities including Christians, showed that it was “more important than ever” for people to express their religious beliefs, he said.”

    Oh, the irony. So delicious!

    “I think politicians should express their faith. I have never adhered to the Blair view that we don’t do God, indeed I’m not sure that Blair does.”

    Alongside every other word that departs this fool’s mouth, this really does show how clueless he is. Blair very much did “do God”. That was the problem, and his PR man, Campbell, knew it. It was Campbell that actually said, “We don’t do God”. And he said it because he knows the British public, on the whole, don’t “do God”, and, more importantly, find it a major turn-off when politicians wear their faith as a badge of honour. We’re generally a cynical lot and assume that when politicians flaunt their faith in an attempt to sound moral it’s simply a ruse to hide the fact that they have no morals whatsoever (Blair being a prime example). Campbell knew this. Blair didn’t. Grieve knows it even less.

    1. If Grieve says that he thinks that Tony Blair “doesn’t do God”, he may be suggesting that Tony is doing it wrong, because Catholic. Face it, some time ago Tony would be in the Tower, tied to a rack. Maybe that’s what Grieve wants to reintroduce.

      1. Ha! That’s very true. Perhaps, by saying Blair doesn’t do God, he means, to paraphrase the classic words of Homer Simpson, Blair has picked the wrong god and every time he prayers he just makes him madder and madder. 🙂

        1. Blair has picked the wrong god and every time he prayers he just makes him madder and madder.

          Sithrak is listening. The spit is oiled. All is … well, neither good nor evil, it just IS … in the world.

  8. I am so tired of hearing that Christianity has been an important part of Western Civilization. The churches worked for centuries to maintain their monopolies on education and morality. The fact that they were the only game in town does mean that they were a good option, just the only one. Who knows what a non-Christian Europe would have looked like in 1200 or 1500? You know what else was really important in the same period? Infectious disease, but we don’t (well, most don’t) go around lamenting the absence of a nice plague.

    All these people hear is the choir and smell is the incense. What about the screams and the fire? It wasn’t just an aberation, it was a foundation.

    1. You could equally well suggest that the Black Death formed Europe. It’s difficult to overestimate its impact throughout the Middle Ages.

      Arguably, it was the Church’s best friend. As modern medicine developed, the urge to beg the divine for mercy declined fast.

    2. « You know what else was really important in the same period? Infectious disease »

      Yes, very much so. The plague changed the economics of the labor market, to the betterment of workers.

      /@

    3. Infectious disease, but we don’t (well, most don’t) go around lamenting the absence of a nice plague.

      Oh, the irony, considering what landed in Prof.CC’s inbox not long ago.

  9. Speaking as a native of the Southern United States, I’ve personally witnessed the results of a state becoming unashamedly evangelical about its christian faith. It is always a policy disaster. It turns out that bronze-age superstition is a piss-poor arbiter of sound, ethical legislation.

    1. Speaking as a native of the Northern United States, I have been wanting to move to a milder climate, but I had to rule out the southern tier of states based on politics. (no offense intended). Maybe the Northwest.

  10. “I think that people with faith have an entitlement to explain where that places them in approaching problems.”

    Entitlement? Sorry, but people with faith are transparent. No need to explain anything, we already know how you approach problems: Hocus Pocus…Alikazam!

  11. When exactly did “sanitize” become a negative term? I suppose it has something to do with the roots of the word “brainwashing”?

    I was going to quip if being “sanitized” made you “sane”, and then decided to look up the root words and yes both “sane” and “sanitize” come from a root work meaning “health” (sanit).

    So by all means, let us be “sanitized”.

    (You could always pull a Russ Douthat and say the problem is !*bad*! religion instead of secularism or religion per se, but how and who decides what is bad or good religion?)

    1. He’s using “sanitised of faith” in which ‘sanitise’ has the nasty connotation of ethnic cleansing or eradication. I’m not certain if he does that on purpose, but I’m afraid he does.

  12. I thought this kind of proselytizing and characterization of a nation as “founded on Christianity” was limited to the U.S.

    The UK has a state church. Some bishops have guaranteed seats in the upper house of the legislature. The head of the church is also the head of state. Here is part of the current queen’s coronation oath:

    Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

  13. ‘Dominic Grieve said he found it “quite extraordinary” that people were being sacked or disciplined for expressing their beliefs at work.’

    Are they stopping/interrupting work by making unsolicited evangelical forays? Are they refusing to stop after repeated requests/directives? Are they being forced to state their beliefs by non-believers? Are they pressing non-believers to justify their non-belief positions?

    1. Or, as I suggested before, shall we start with a list of people presumed to be fired because of their religion and take it from there?

  14. FWIW, England has far more of a claim to be founded on Christianity than the US. Alfred the Great is an Anglican saint. (Quite a contrast to Jefferson, Franklin, etc.)

    Of course religion does as much or more to divide people as bring them together, so conflict between Catholics and Protestants under English rule from the Reformation on is not pretty.

    1. “England has far more of a claim to be founded on Christianity”

      Ya, curious, isn’t it that Britain is now more secular that we Americans. Even with the queen’s queer oath and Bishops in parliament, etc. Well, not unexpected really. Our first amendment opened the door to any and all faiths, and we opted for “all”. We had several “Great Awakenings” along the way. Also, we love marketplace competition – so the more the merrier.

    2. The key thing there is that the RCs allegiance is to the pope first (as a conduit of god) rather than the protestant resort to the bible for godly authority. (By the way, I continue to refuse to capitalise ‘god’.) Therefore the RCs were seen as a threat to nationhood. The embodiment of the Church of England as a part of the state was a part of nation-building I suppose in the 16th/17th centuries.

      1. Very much sixteenth; from Wp [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VIII_of_England]:

        Henry [VIII] is generally credited with initiating the English Reformation – the process of transforming England from a Catholic country to a Protestant one – though his progress at the elite and mass levels is disputed,[184] and the precise narrative not widely agreed.[60] Certainly, in 1527, Henry, until then an observant and well-informed Catholic, appealed to the Pope for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine.[60] No annulment was immediately forthcoming, the result in part of Charles V’s control of the Papacy.[185] The traditional narrative gives this refusal as the trigger for Henry’s rejection of papal supremacy (which he had previously defended), though as historian A. F. Pollard has argued, even if Henry had not needed a divorce, Henry may have come to reject papal control over the governance of England purely for political reasons.[186] … The Act of Supremacy in 1534 declared that the King was “the only Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England” and the Treasons Act 1534 made it high treason, punishable by death, to refuse theOath of Supremacy acknowledging the King as such.

        /@

        1. In other words, the transformation of England from a Catholic to a Protestant country had at least as much to do with politics as it did with religion. The Wars of the Roses had only been over for a few decades, Henry urgently needed a male heir and successor whose legitimacy was beyond question, hence his search for a wife who could produce one, and Henry wasn’t going to let a Pope influenced by foreign kings, derail it.

          1. More politics than relgion. In fact, Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife went a little too far in the direction of Lutheranism for his taste. She retreated a bit, reconciled with him and outlived the grouchy old buzzard, though alas, not by much.

      2. (By the way, I continue to refuse to capitalise ‘god’.)

        BTW, would you refuse to capitalise Buddha (possibly a historical entity)? Mohammed (more possibly a historical entity)? L.Ron Hubbard (definitely a historical entity, and a god to his believers)?
        There’s no point in asking about Sithrak. Regardless of whether you please him or not, he’s got the spit oiled and it’s eternal torment for you, regardless. (And it makes the paperwork so much simpler!)

          1. Sorry, Work’s filters block Oglaf from here. and the Collected Works of Ivan (a.k.a. the Cumsprite Jar) are on the other computer in the cabin with my nightshift “boy”.
            Outreach/2 … would that be the one where Sithrak is explaining that he was ateenager when he wrote that, and a bit angry?
            He’s kidding with you. Just raising a little hope so that you straighten your back before the spit goes in.

    3. The UK (and some of its parts) are theocracies, just like Canada, Japan and a few other places one doesn’t think of being such. They are relatively mild ones at present, though – so far.

  15. I think it could help if people looked at the wider spectrum of opinions and history of ideas about all the religions, or at least a summary. If everyone looked up Wikipedia about each different word they found in the scriptures then that at least would broaden their knowledge on the matter.

    Here is my parody of the hymn,
    ” Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty ”
    Tune, ” Nicaea ” by John Bacchus ( 1823-76 )
    eg YT PipeOrganHymnsG0OJF channel

    Wholly, wholly mistaken, about the bacon
    it is reasonably healthy for you and it has always been
    Taboos started by Ancient Egyptians, Cancelled by the Christians
    Offered a choice twixt reptile or pork chops (Acts 10v12 )

    Pig ignorant about circumcision, Again started by Ancient Egyptians
    recorded on 2400 BCE bas-relief inside the pyramids
    Said to make them different, afraid it simply wasn’t ( Genesis 17v11 )
    Just another example of evolution and adoption of ideas

    { By the way I wouldn’t be surprised if many Jewish people did have a comprehensive knowledge of the history of thought on circumcision but it wouldn’t be so funny in the lyrics, so apologies if the ” pig ignorant ” is a bit off, except such a term could have been applied to me for most of my life until I got the www. In any case I still am ignorant about a vast many things}
    [ See tabletmag website, Bas Relief Depicts Circumcision in Ancient Egypt
    Relic from 2400 BCE believed to be the oldest illustration of the ritual ]

    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/176348/bas-relief-depicts-circumcision-in-ancient-egypt

  16. The “appalling” scenes in Iraq, which have seen Islamic extremists behead and crucify religious minorities including Christians, showed that it was “more important than ever” for people to express their religious beliefs, he said.

    Isn’t express[ing] their religious beliefs exactly what Islamic extremists are doing ?

    And Mr. Grieve wants more of this ?

    1. In a discussion at work yesterday (about work, actually) I cited “Einstein’s definition of insanity” : doing the same thing again, and expecting a different result.
      Insane.

  17. I totally agree with Mr. Greives comment concerning politicians showing their religious ideas. In the UK where a lot of the population has no religion it may just stop these deluded people from being elected.

  18. I blame Tony Bleurrrrggggh – sorry – Blair – for this public faith guff.

    I would, on these grounds alone, prefer Clegg or Milliband as a potential PM, even though there are plenty of things about them I dislike. Both of them are openly atheists, & you know what? Most voters don’t mind that at all!

  19. “I thought this kind of proselytizing and characterization of a nation as “founded on Christianity” was limited to the U.S”

    It seems in general that a fundamentally religious politician over the pond trumpets the fact and virtually all seeking election feel they have to declare their faith.

    In the UK those who are the most religious are figures of fun. Prime Minister Blair only fully declared his faith after he left office and it isn’t unusual for UK MPs to become “more religious” after they stop seeking power.

    We have Muslim members of parliament elected in areas with a small minority of Muslim voters. We also have about a sixth of parliamentarians who admit to being atheist or humanist. For example although my current MP is Christian he is a socialist and very strong on LGBT rights. His two predecessors were openly atheist.

  20. “Aggressive Secularism” is a complete figment of Grieve’s imagination. If only it weren’t because we could really do with some!
    It is true that a very strong taboo has developed in certain sections of the UK (particularly the public sector and the Left) against any criticism of Islam or Muslims. The pernicious effects of this taboo were highlighted in the official report on the terrible scandal in Rotherham. The BBC Panorama programme on the scandal is particularly good on this.
    Some people on the Right (Nigel Farage made the point too in a call for “Judaeo-Christian” values) are responding to this by calling for more of their own religion.
    Unfortunately I don’t see any prominent politician in the UK calling for less religion and more secularism.
    Certainly Labour (desperate for Muslim votes) wouldn’t dream of saying anything remotely sensible on the issue.

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