The Eponymous Flower: Graz Professor Demands Death Penalty for Pope

The Eponymous Flower: Graz Professor Demands Death Penalty for Pope: Graz ( Richard Parncutt, professor of Systematic Musicology at the University of Graz, recently called for the death of Pope Bene…

What an intolerant bigot! A hate crime, surely?

Authored by Chris Hall


Gloomy Sunday

Christians have no right to refuse to work on Sundays, rules judge.

Since when did the Judiciary deem themselves fit and proper to define theological matters? The presumptuousness of it!

Mr Justice Langstaff, a High Court judge says that Christians have no right to decline working on Sunday as it is not a “core component” of their beliefs. Apparently this was because some Christians were prepared to work Sundays.

Since Apostolic times Christians have gathered together one day a week to worship, break bread, offer the Eucharist and confess their sins. St Justin and Tertullian both mention the importance of Sundays. From thenceforth on there have been numerous Councils and ecclesiastical bodies.

Germany has had Sunday rest enshrined in its basic law as a day of rest and “spiritual elevation and indeed Sixteen of the EU’s 27 members have already provided legal protection for Sunday as a work-free day. This is where unions and churches have worked together to ensure that people, workers and families get the rest and protection that they need.

Aside from my own inclination to having Sunday as a day of rest why do I think that the Judge is wrong? It’s because of his reliance upon ‘The fact that some Christians were prepared to work on Sundays meant it was not protected.’

There we have a Judge at odds with earlier precedents on religious matters, and it always seems that Christians are treated differently. Consider the case of Sarika Singh, it’s as plain as the nose of my face that not all Sikhs wear the 5 items yet a Judge makes law as though all do. Yet as soon as an Orthodox Christian wearing a cross or Sunday working comes into the frame we get hit with ‘well not all Christians do that’.

Authored by Chris Hall

More Christian Presenters needed on Children’s TV

The BBC have been told to put more Christian presenters on children’s TV to ‘familiarise’ youngsters with different denominations. The study said Christian presenters would ‘validate’ the feelings of Christian children.  It said this was important for young people in their ‘ formative years’.

BBC children’s programmes should include more Catholic, Orthodox and Pentecostal Christians, a report of the corporation recommends. A panel of nine experts said youngsters should be introduced to the diversity of Christian denominations in their early years. While there has been a gradual increased in the representation of these people, they remain ‘still relatively invisible’ in the media, they said.

Demonstrating positive experiences and outcomes will stop Christian children feeling isolated, it said, particularly in rural areas. The report commissioned by the broadcaster, which drew on audience surveys and nine ‘faith experts’, concluded that all genres of programming should regularly feature diverse denominations, with news and drama currently the biggest problem areas.

For dramas and soaps, she recommended bolder storylines featuring Christian characters, while documentaries were deemed to need more Catholic presenters and portrayal of the Orthodox in history. As for comedy, the report concluded that the ‘biggest risk’ was Anglicans being the focus of a joke. This was judged as only truly acceptable when the comedians themselves were Anglican.

Acting director general Tim Davie, chair of the BBC Working Group which commissioned the review, said: ‘The BBC has a fundamental obligation to serve all its audiences. In fact, it’s one of the BBC’s public purposes to reflect the diversity of UK life, especially when 55% of the UK describe themselves as Christian according to the recent census.

Of course the above is a parody of this news item.

But it does make me ask the question as to why someone feels it’s important to have different Christian denominations as Children’s TV presenters? I mean, how do you know if they are Christian, and even if they are what denomination? Are we expected to keep an eye out for how they make the sign of the cross, or whether they genuflect or bow their head?

It’s madness, or as someone else has said:

I don’t want gay presenters, I don’t want straight presenters, I don’t want northern presenters, I don’t want southern presenters, I don’t want black, white, male female, able bodied or disabled presenters. I want competent presenters which seems less and less likely from an increasingly incompetent organisation.

Violating Secularism

1929 issue showing Jesus being dumped from a w...

Seems the happy band that make up the assorted temporal League of Militant Atheists are running scared of those Godly people again. So incensed are the zealots by the prayers and supplications of the Institut Civitas that they’re thinking of applying to the courts to legally disband them and force them underground.

No, it’s not China or some time-warped Soviet satellite that everyone’s forgotten about, it’s the bastion of secularism, France.

“Secularism is not about simple tolerance. It’s not about ‘anything goes.’ It is a set of values that we have to share,” Minister of Education Vincent Peillon told the French press recently

We who believe often forget about the strength of the Lord. Others are only too aware and are seriously worried. And it shows.

Authored by Chris Hall

Bishop Devine goes for Cameron

Top man!

…and rightly so.

From the Telegraph:

Joseph Devine, the Bishop of Motherwell, said he considered the Prime Minister “out of his depth” and Christians cannot trust him given the “contradiction” between his statements on religious matters and his actions.

Spot on Bishop Devine. Cameron has proven he will say any old rubbish to hide his real agenda.

He also used a two-page letter to Mr Cameron, to accuse him of “belittling” the Church of England by attacking its reluctance to ordain women bishops.

The CofE has a form of democracy in the process of Synod but the Laity in the Synod were just so ‘not with the programme.’ Obviously the Synod got it so wrong* compared to the theological colossus that is Cameron.

The Church is also upset the Prime Minister has refused to support moves by Christians to go to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to demand their right to wear the cross.

Another top man!

Perhaps Cameron thinks they’re the type of Christian that would vote the wrong way in Synod. Obviously not worthy.

In a separate move, Philip Tartaglia, the archbishop of Glasgow, said it was a “great disappointment” that Mr Cameron’s plans to change the laws on royal succession would not end the anomaly that bans the monarch from being Catholic.

Funny how some forms of ‘discrimination’ are more worthy than others.

Bishop Devine used his letter to accuse Mr Cameron of claiming to be an advocate for Christian values while undermining freedom of conscience and family life.
“You vacillate, ambivalent about the role you wish to perform – the disciple of David or Nero,” he wrote, referring to the ECHR row over the cross.
“With such a contradiction between your statements and actions, on what basis can you expect anyone – Christians in particular – to trust or respect you?”

Why would any Christian put their trust in a man like Cameron and others of his ilk?

Accusing the Prime Minister of acting with “indecent haste” to legalise gay marriage, the bishop added: “I suspect it is only a matter of time before you go one step further and outlaw the teaching of Christian doctrine on sexual morality on the grounds of discrimination.”

Coming soon to a country near you.

“So far as the Roman Catholic Church … is concerned, you are out of your depth. We will take no finger-prodding lectures from anyone or any group devoid of moral competence.” 

You have to admire some of the Catholic hierarchy, they do have backbone. Only some though.

A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on the letter but said the debate on gay marriage was “about how rather than if” it would go ahead. Mr Cameron has said he is resisting ECHR action on the cross as he wants such issues dealt with in British courts.

‘How rather than if’ sums it up. This is nothing to do with public support, theology, justice, right or God. An agenda or ‘get with it programme’ has already been decided upon and God help those who don’t toe the line.

Thank God I’m no longer in the CofE. I don’t think I could take such Governmental interference and ignorance driving theology and church practice.

* yes I do know the vote wasn’t about women bishops.

Authored by Chris Hall

A Short History of Byzantium – My Review

A Short History Of ByzantiumA Short History Of Byzantium by John Julius Norwich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If Goodreads rating system went to 10 instead of 5 then I would give this book 9.5. Not because it doesn’t deserve 10 but because I’m convinced it cannot be better than the three volumes that this is a condensed version of. The author admits that much has been left out in the production of this single volume and if I knew what I know now then I would have tried to obtain the original three volumes.

Having said that, this is a fantastic book for anyone who has more than a passing interest in Byzantium. It’s a shame that we in the West know so little about Byzantium. Such a shame that the history of Byzantium has been sidelined and written out of what we teach in history. Hitler dreamt of a thousand year Reich – too late Adolf, Byzantium got there first. Not as a Nazi Reich you understand but as a magnificent Roman Empire stretching from Europe into Asia Minor and North Africa. Coupled with this Imperial Empire you also have the continuing history of the Orthodox church.

John Julius Norwich’s book manage to twine together the historical and political story of the Western and Eastern Empires and also the intricacies of the relationship between the Latin and Eastern churches to produce what is to me a work of art. It’s also a powerful book, almost reducing me to tears when reading about the final days of the Empire and the profane desecration of the Hagia Sophia, that majestic icon of the Orthodox church.

A must read.

View all my reviews

Authored by Chris Hall

Charlie and his liver troubles

A few months ago our beloved Charlie ate his dinner and then promptly threw up. From that point on his ability to eat waned quickly to zero although you could tell in his eyes and face that he was hungry. It was very disconcerting to see this lovely Labrador who adored food trying to eat but being unable to bring himself to accept food. He also became very listless, sort of depressed and very sleepy. It was as though he’d lost something inside.

When a Labrador goes off their food you know it’s not something to be taken lightly so a trip to the vets followed. From then on were a battery of pills, potions and blood and bile tests which led to a conclusion: His liver was being attacked and was dying.

One of the enzymes which is an indicator of something dodgy in the liver is ALT and Charlie’s were horrendously high. Another test they do is a before and after food test for bile, and again Charlie’s were extremely high. So the high ALT pointed to the fact that liver cells were dying at a high rate and the bile results showed his liver wasn’t functioning in terms of dealing with bile production. At this point he was given Destolit and an antibiotic.

Once home from the vets Charlie’s inability to eat became a problem. We’d have to find what he would eat through trial and error and feed him it until he went off it. So chicken, fish, gravy bones, treats were all offered and for a number of days we were able to get food into him. At a point though he started refusing all food. It was really heartbreaking as he could hear a fridge open at 50 yards but he’d look longingly at the food and just walk away. So another trip to the vets and he was put on a drip to flush his system out. Once back from the vets after the drip his appetite was back for maybe 24 hours before he started going downhill again.

After having been on the Destolit and antibiotics for a week or so Charlie went back in for another round of blood tests. Same results. The vet at this point suggested that a visit to a specialist was called for, someone who had more understanding of this type of issue. The specialist changed Charlie’s medication and replaced the Destolit with Denamarin which was meant to afford some protection to the liver. They also had him in for some ultrasound tests on his abdomen and another round of blood tests.

The ultrasound tests were encouraging. His liver was well defined, no evidence of scar tissue or fibrosis and the rest of his body showed nothing untoward. Also the blood tests showed his bile function seemed to be coming round but his ALT enzymes were still way too high.

So we continued for another week trying to get food into him and eventually going back to the vets for another drip. Then the specialist suggested we bring Charlie in for an invasive biopsy on his liver as they felt they really needed to see his liver. so Charlie went under the knife and they examined his liver and took some biopsies for analysis. They described his liver as having an unusual colour and being somewhat rounded on some of the lobes, but thankfully no signs of growths or tumours.

The biopsy results came in when they had been assessed. There found bacterial spores in his liver but were unable to get these to grow in a culture which indicated that he’d had some form of bacterial infection but that the infection now seemed to be clear, likely due to the antibiotics. They also tested for a wide range of other bacteria and pathogens but everything came back clear. It suggested that he had eaten something that was contaminated and this had passed through the gut and bloodstream into his liver. The curse of Dustbinitis, well known to Lab owners.

Another week later and they had results for copper analysis. The upper range for copper in the liver is 400 units and Charlie’s were measuring 1600 units! This was indeed promising.

Charlie’s treatment now changed to an antibiotic that was know to chelate copper and make it soluble together with a steroid to promote his appetite. One day after starting this treatment it was as though we’d got our old Charlie back. His appetite was back, as ravenous as ever. He’d even taken to stealing the food from the cats, something which he hadn’t done for a long time! And best of all he was now able to eat his current low copper diet food which he’ll be on to ensure that the copper levels don’t get too high.

I know we’re not out of the woods yet with Charlie but I have hope and faith that his progress will now be positive. The liver is one of those organs that can regenerate providing the issues haven’t gone too far. The vet thinks that he is susceptible to copper collection in his liver but the bacterial infection was the cause of his symptoms. They also think the copper was hampering the healing of his liver after the infection had been dealt with. In an odd way without the bacterial infection we may have never known about the copper in the liver, which may have killed him eventually.

Please pray for him as we continue with his treatment.

Authored by Chris Hall