Wednesday 27 June 2012

Pray for England

St Augustine's, Ramsgate
I visited my family at the weekend, saw that Songs of Praise was about to come on telly when Aled Jones suddenly grabbed my attention by announcing that the episode would be dedicated to Pugin's Churches.

Fr Marcus Holden was interviewed on Pugin and came across very well on telly.

You can watch the episode here, it really is a beautiful exposition of some of Pugin's fine work. What a diamond Pugin was. Rightly the episode is called 'God's Architect'.

It's also wonderful news that the Church where Fr Marcus Holden is parish priest has become an official national Shrine to St Augustine and the monks who converted England following instruction to do so by Pope St Gregory I the Great all those moons ago.

All this marvellous news also presents us with an opportunity to promote this year's Evangelium Conference which will be taking place with a host of wonderful guest speakers as follows:

Neil Addison – Barrister and author on Religion and Law
Fr Jerome Bertam – Oratorian and writer
Joanna Bogle – Broadcaster, writer, author of Feasts and Seasons
Sr Hyacinthe Defos du Rau OP – Sister of St Dominic's Priory in the New Forest
Fr Tim Finigan – Internationally renowned Catholic speaker, columnist and blogger
Dr William Newton – Professor at the International Theological Institute in Austria
Dr Joseph Shaw – Philosopher, University of Oxford
Hellena Taylor – LAMDA trained Shakespearian actor and RCIA catechist
Fr Ed Tomlinson – Priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
Hannah Vaughan-Spruce – Director of Catechesis, Holy Ghost Catholic Church Balham
Fr Marcus Holden – Parish Priest of the National Shrine of St Augustine
Fr Andrew Pinsent – Former Particle Physicist at CERN and Theologian, University of Oxford

You can join the Facebook group here. A fine line up I think you'll agree and probably better at taking penalties than the England team because, let's it, how could the England team gather the resolve and steel it takes to deal with such a high pressure moment knowing that Our Lady was rooting for the team that made the Sign of the Cross and prayed to her? Until England goes back to Walsingham, we may as well forget about getting past the quarter finals.

Which is another good reason why you could consider making a walking pilgrimage this year to the National Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham between 24 - 26 August. I went last year and it was a beautiful, prayerful encounter, full of friendship, devotion and, yes, song too. And penance of course. Even rain and tired legs could not dampen the spirit of those went last year and I do recommend it to readers. If you want to do something that we believe brings Our Lady great joy, then go.

There will be, at the Evangelium Conference, dynamic talks by excellent speakers, the opportunity to mix with other young people who share your faith and discuss and talk informally with our speakers. There will also be daily Mass and eucharistic adoration, opportunities for confession, the chance to relax in the beautiful grounds and opportunities for sport and evening entertainment. Sounds lovely. Evangelium will take place 3rd - 5th August 2012 at the Reading Oratory School. The cost is £95.00 and you can book your place there online.

Who needs the Euros? Indeed, who needs the Euro? Who needs Wimbledon? And who, who on God's green earth needs synchronised swimming competitions, 100 metre relay and a competition to see who can throw a spear the furthest? The answer is, of course, nobody. We do, however, all need Our Blessed Lord and His Blessed Mother, however. We all need Salvation and we need to tell others of it in word and, indeed, in deed.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

The Beatles Album Cover You Never Saw

Isn't it eerie that little longer than a year passed after The Beatles issued this album the Abortion Act of 1967 came to be passed in the United Kingdom?

If you want your head to be fried by a blog dedicated to The Beatles, the occult, masonry and numerology click here. I don't know whether the blog author may just be reading a little too much into The Beatles, but then they did put Aleistair Crowley on Sgt Pepper's, didn't they?

I just find this limited edition US release version album cover that got pulled a just a little bit weird and strangely prescient. Meanwhile, a Russian anti-narcotics official blames The Beatles for the explosion of recreational drug use after the 60s and which continues unabated today. Ah, The Beatles, those sweet Liverpool lads. Bless 'em and God rest them.

Monday 25 June 2012

LGBT and Police Discrimination

I heard a fascinating account of a night out from someone who has in the past attended the Soup Run.

The man in question went out for a night out with his friend who is a lesbian. The two decided to go to a gay club in Brighton called 'Revenge'.

So, they both got dressed up for a night out. The man and woman arrived at Revenge, but, at the door, while the lady was accepted, the man was turned away.

I asked the gentleman in question whether any reason was cited for his not being allowed into Revenge. I asked whether he thought it was because he was black or because he has dreadlocks, or was not dressed appropriately or something.  No reason for his not being allowed into the club was given, just that 'he can't come in'.

"I don't understand it," he said, "I'm heterosexual but how can they tell that just by looking at you? It was like they had a profile and I didn't fit it or something. And even if I am heterosexual, why should that bar me from going into a gay club? My lesbian friend wanted to stay and have an argument with the guy on the door about it, but I told her to leave it. We turned around and left and it put a real downer on the evening."

Perhaps if he'd have oiled up, shaved his head and body hair, donned some fake angel wings, hired some portable strobe lighting and gone topless he might have got in. So much for diversity and inclusion in Brighton.

Prejudice and discrimination came up again in our conversation as we talked more. The chap was sitting with a group of people who regularly sit at the back of St Peter's Church on London Road. I explained to him that I had sat here last week with a friend for a while until two community support police officers arrived on the scene with a small blue marquee not unlike that pictured (below, right).

There sat the PCSOs watching the homeless and hostel dwellers of Brighton talking, drinking cans and generally socialising. So, I walked over and asked why the PCSOs had established a small base looking over the affairs of Brighton's poor. They replied that this was a 'hotspot' for 'street-drinking and anti-social behaviour'. They said they know many of the homeless and like many of them but that it was their job to patrol and set up pitch so that no 'anti-social behaviour' was going on.

They admitted that they exercised a certain amount of discrimination. A couple enjoying a glass of wine was different, they maintained, to several people who residents might feel threatened or intimidated by. I responded by asking whether it was right to agree with the prejudices that people hold against the homeless. They said 'perhaps not' but that if they left people alone to do their own thing then there would be arguments and fights.

So, I went back over to the other side of the road and saw George and Diane who were sat away from the party scene. "What's that they've put up, then?" said George, "A beer tent?" George described the police as 'control freaks' concerned only with the image of Brighton. "It's all for the tourists," he said, "but they don't realise they draw more attention to the homeless by pitching up a massive blue tent." Having told me that they exercise restraint and prudence when dealing with 'street people', they then told me that they'd just told the crowd that they had 15 minutes to drink up and go elsewhere. True to their word, a quarter of an hour later they were over to tell the poor to clear off. The poor keep the PCSOs in their job, however, because the next day the exact same crowd gather in the exact same place and the exact same response comes from the police community support officers. It's almost like Brighton is trying to maintain its image by 'dealing' with the fallout from an enormously hedonistic culture. Suffice to say that drugs and alcohol in Brighton are clamped down upon to different degrees depending on your social status.

St Peter's Church, London Road
The chap I talked with today agreed that Brighton is not half as liberal as it makes out. For a town that marks itself out as a 'hotspot' for hedonistic culture, it can be awfully puritan. "I don't know why they're onto the crowd who drink here. After all, its all fenced off. People walk by and they're not hurting anyone."

He said that recently he had been searched by the police for drugs and he assumes it is because he is black, has dreadlocks and hangs around near St Peter's from time to time. "I get it all the time," he said, "People coming up to me and asking if I've got drugs because I'm black and I've got dreads. The truth is I haven't done any drugs for 25 years and have never been a dealer. I'm 45 for Heaven's sake."

The thing about law and rights (from the little I know) is that it is meant to be something universal. It either applies to everyone or it does not, so the idea of discriminating between a couple drinking cava on a blanket in the afternoon sun and a homeless man with some friends seems nonsensical - legally speaking. Anti-social behaviour is in the eye of the beholder. What might simply be inoffensive to one person could have another person in terrible fright because, 'O Heaven's above! It's a group of homeless people congregating. There are more than two of them and some of them have a beer in their hand! Call the police! I'm terrified!'

It goes without saying that on the weekend of Gay Pride, coming up in August, all these street drinking laws are discarded for a gigantic p*ss up and drug fest in Preston Park as cans lay strewn across London Road and the general region awaiting an almighty Council clean up the next morning. Does this make any sense? Well, it makes no moral sense. It only makes financial sense because it brings in tourism and trade. Hey, you know, there might be some people in Brighton who don't feel that comfortable when a massive hoard of homosexuals and lesbians descend upon Brighton in August in scenes which could be construed as some as publicly a little indecent, but those people who object, if they even exist, are obviously bigoted, discriminatory and nurture an irrational phobia of men and women gathering together to get blasted, behave and dress immodestly, congregate in huge crowds and socialise in a very public manner.

Some of the homeless are even on ASBOs which stop them from congregating with a drink in their hand in the company of more than one other person. With all this hullabaloo about making same-sex sexual activity socially respectable or beneficial, I'm sure it wouldn't take a genius lawyer to argue for the right to drink a beer in a public area and congregate with a group of friends in the sunshine outside as a 'human right', but we've moved beyond common sense now because human rights are the State's domain. The State permitteth you to buy a can of lager, but the State taketh away the can on lager if you're homeless and drink it in public.

Say a prayer for the gentleman I talked with today. He is HIV positive and the knowledge of having the disease causes him considerable mental anguish as well as physical suffering.


From the Letter of St Jude, Apostle and Martyr...

'Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, served as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Yet, in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority and revile the glorious ones.'

I've attracted some criticism from a Catholic priest for my previous post. I believe I should clarify what I said in the post as I can see how it could be construed as being offensive to Catholics struggling with the Cross of homosexuality. I happen to be one of those Catholics.

The main concern I expressed in the post was to highlight the way in which the State and those lobbies to whom it gives most attention use the word 'love' and the emotive power behind it in order to convince a population of the rightness of their cause. To see a word which has such depth and rich meaning in a Christian context being used in order to advance an agenda for same-sex marriage is worrying. This is because it is my opinion that with the same-sex marriage crusade comes a desire for State and society to approve of homosexual acts and a desire to accord to the act of homosexuality an equality with the conjugal act of husband and wife which is open to the gift of children.

I tried to look at what St Paul said of love and noticed that when St Paul talked of love, it appeared to have very little to do with lust or even sex. St Paul said that 'love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil' but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.'

I do not take exception to the idea that two homosexual men can share a love which is holy and life-giving. I also understand only too well that chastity is a lifelong struggle and one which we can never even begin to attain by our own efforts.

But I have been told in no uncertain terms by a Catholic priest that it is not 'primarily' my concern whether the love that exists between two homosexuals manifests itself sexually. It is at this point at which we must depart in view. For while it may not be my personal concern as to whether a relationship between two men or two women becomes sexual, it is the Church's concern and it certainly concerns Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Salvation of Souls.

Life is a messy affair and we are all aware of it, but let us be clear, there is no 'theology of the body' in homosexual acts. What feels like love is so often not love. If homosexuals are living 'loving relationships' then the homosexual acts are a departure from that love which always seeks the good of another. Homosexual acts are not an expression of love. To say that would be to make the Apostles and their Successors liars. To engage another in the act of homosexuality is always and everywhere a sin that 'cries out to Heaven for vengeance'. The Lord Jesus is not a vengeful God. He is merciful and forgiving and if we are guilty of the sin we would do very well to confess it and take up our Cross once more. Such a sin is an act of gross spiritual vandalism against ourselves and the other just as is adultery and fornication.

There is no reason why with God's grace two men cannot share a deeply holy and chaste love for one another. Like all Catholics, homosexuals are called to be Saints. I apologise if I in any way offended those who either show pastoral care to those in their community who struggle with homosexuality as individuals or as a couple or those who do so. I did not intend to suggest that homosexuals do not show love in any way to individuals who they share lives with. What I intended to say was that with the campaign for 'gay marriage' comes an explicit desire that the State (and even the Church Herself) approve of homosexual acts and rename them under the banner of 'love' as equal to the conjugal act which takes place between man and woman in the context of marriage. Language is important because it feeds into public understanding of right and wrong. Dressing up those things which are wrong as right and just by altering the language in which we describe them is not the business of the State. If it is the business of the State then it is the business of a State which has extended itself beyond its legitimate remit and has embarked upon a road that eventually leads to totalitarianism - especially when those who speak out against the new State orthodoxy are at first pilloried and eventually silenced.

Friday 22 June 2012

The Death of Love


From the new website of Dystopia 

There is no doubt, and few could question the assertion, that love is an incredible thing. Placed in its true and proper context, love is a beautiful thing, if, indeed, it can be described as a ‘thing’.

Of course, love is not actually a thing. If it were a thing, we should possess it. If love is not a thing and we cannot own it, then exactly what is it? What is love? It is important that we ask ourselves the question today because we are entering into a new age in which the very word ‘love’ is claimed by different parties and groups only to mean very different things.

The word, partly due to the emotive power behind the word, is being altered beyond recognition, given new constructions which previous generations have not considered. There are a couple of areas in which the word ‘love’ is being employed to advance a particular set of ideas or an agenda. Two areas in which it is being employed to advance an agenda are the areas in which naturally we as human beings have a great interest: namely these are sex and death.

For instance, it is said by some that the case for assisted suicide can be made because to allow the killing of a suffering individual is or could be, in certain circumstances, a loving act – an act of mercy or of charity.

Few other generations would have countenanced such an idea. Nor would these previous generations have countenanced ‘gay marriage’. There are some important factors as to why this should have been the case.  Let us examine some of them.

Until now, Christian societies respected that how we understand love should be guided by the Church and the teachings of Christ. The Church once had a formidable role in defining the Divine and so, naturally, had authority in defining those qualities that find their source and origin in the Divine rather than, say, the media, Nick Clegg, popular opinion, or the State.

Traditionally, 'love' or how we define 'love' – because it had been deemed to be a spiritual ‘thing’, was believed to be the remit of the Church.  In fact, outside of the Church, there was little other interpretation of love than the qualities attributed to it by St Paul.

We thought of love as patient, kind, humble, selfless and hopeful. We thought that love was not self-seeking or vain, that love did not seek its own happiness but that of others. Of course, love found expression through human interaction, but we had an understanding that our relationship with love was a struggle because while we may or may not have been men of cheerful or charitable dispositions, it was deemed that to love required an element of both virtue and personal heroism.  In terms of human sexuality, love was spousal, bound up with the fusion of man and woman. It was fruitful - it generated new life. It was kind and forgiving. 

The commandment, that we should love the Lord our God with all our mind, heart, strength and understanding gave us a vision of love which was both concrete and spiritual. The commandment to ‘love our neighbour’ gave us a vision of love which was practical. A man could love his country, but the cost to him might be that he loses limbs or life in defending it in time of war.  The greatest model held up to society of 'love' was presented by the Church to the nation. That model, of course, was Jesus Christ who, in His love, gave up His life so that we might live – that we might have life 'in all its fullness'.

There existed also an understanding that love did not come for free. Love wasn’t cheap or easy. There was a particular appreciation that love involved a measure of self-sacrifice – that love involved us in some measure or manner going beyond ourselves and our own self-interest. This was, in fact, the love that kept marriages together, that held families together like glue through good times and bad, through prosperous times and times of poverty, through sickness and health.

Coupled with this was a curious British reserve. We did not really talk about sex much openly and, in fact, we were rather embarrassed by the whole thing and we resented the Italians, French and Spanish for being comfortable with it. This British reserve, however, also led to us Brits not using the word ‘love’ glibly or liberally. We heard that the French were great 'lovers', but we were right to think that in part that meant they slept around too much. To speak of love was to speak of something very serious, solemn and important. We didn’t bandy the word 'love' around willy-nilly because actually, we were uncomfortable all round with expressing our feelings - even feelings that had nothing to do with sex. Feelings and emotions, if they ran high, ran high behind a newspaper and a pipe.

There was, too, a natural mistrust of our own selves. We believed in Original Sin and so a man could not necessarily believe that just because he was committing adultery that what felt like love was actually 'love' since love was also bound up with duty to one’s own spouse and the spouse of your ‘lover’ and if ever a politician were found to be sleeping with someone other than his wife, he resigned because confidence in his public reputation was lost. Even racy English novels that contained homosexual liaisons had these relationships to be fraught with guilt and sadness.

Now, the word ‘love’ is banded around in a way that is distinctly un-English.  What does, for instance, the Queen make of the idea that homosexuals share a ‘love’ that is ‘equal’ to that of a man and a woman who desire to start a family?  What we are witnessing is that in an atheistic, more secular age, groups and individuals have set out to rob words of their true meaning – or – certainly, their previous meanings, because in an age of uncertainty, of moral relativism, everything, even love itself, is ‘up for grabs’.

And so, when Nick Clegg says that ‘gay marriage’ will go ahead in order to recognise the ‘love’ of gay couples, few in society will pay his choice of word a second thought. We are now so used to public individuals, politicians and celebrities describing every relationship as being one of ‘love’ (even after the fifth marriage) that few would raise an eyebrow to Mr Clegg’s assurance to the British public that when the State changes the meaning of marriage, it is because of the ‘love’ that homosexuals share.  It follows therefore that this love simply must be raised to the official state of marriage (marriage must be redefined), for if it is not, then how can we call ourselves a free, equal, fair and tolerant society?

As I say, few will pour over Clegg’s words, but we really must, as citizens and as Catholics dig a little deeper underneath the soundbites of the Liberal Democrat politician, if we are to discern whether what he is actually saying is true. 

For nevermind that the institution of marriage precedes both the Church and the State, it is surely not up to the State now to define the very meaning of the word, ‘love’, for, as I said, if a State does that, it runs the danger of robbing the word of its meaning or of emptying it of its original content to suit its own ends. 

For, ironically, what Clegg seeks to change in meaning - love - no State can actually do. No, the State cannot love and it rarely shows clemency.  Meditating upon and proclaiming love is, in fact, the Church’s territory and the State is treading on holy ground. If love, too, is to be redefined to mean active homosexual relationships then the State is, in fact, attempting to take possession of that which none can in fact possess, since the very idea of love is rooted in God Himself.

Our understanding of love, in fact, comes from natural law and Christianity. The love of spouses who marry and whose love brings forth children is natural and Christian. The loving of and the education of these children is natural but hitherto also Christian. To love our parents and to look after our elderly relatives is natural but, hitherto, also Christian. To love the poor and feed them is Christian. To love ones country and die for it is heroic and, in principle, Christian and to love God and the Church and to die for both is Christian.

Nick Clegg’s comments deserve some heavy comment and analysis because frankly, if the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is going to speak of love, indeed to preach, then he should grant his people right to reply. For if ‘love’ is what Mr Clegg says it is – namely, two men living a life together and giving each other sexual pleasure – then the very word ‘love’ has been demeaned or at least changed. If that is ‘love’ then we must find a new word for what it means for a man to sacrifice his life and limbs for his country. If that is love, then we need to find a new word to express a man and a woman bringing forth new life into the world through their union and raising those children well.  If that is love, then we need to find a new word for what Blessed Teresa of Caluctta did in the slums. If that is love, then we need to find a new word to describe that bond which exists between father and son, mother and daughter, brother and sister, Bishop and priest and, indeed, Queen and country.

To speak of the love that dare not speak its name as ‘love’ that in some way is equal to natural marriage or Christian marriage is to, at best, give a very superficial construction to the word itself, and, at worst, to rob it entirely of its profound and rich spiritual meaning.  And, furthermore, when Government begins robbing words of their actual meaning to the point that even the word ‘love’ is no longer a) holy or b) sacred, or associated with either of the two then people should be concerned that the Government is entering into a realm in which it has absolutely no business or right whatsoever.

What theologians and mystics, poets and artists, philosophers and saints have dedicated their whole lives to penetrating – the mystery of love – has been solved by a Liberal Democrat called Nick Clegg.  Or has it?  Certainly, others, like St Paul, would perhaps disagree with Mr Clegg on his definition. Perhaps the most important of St Paul’s words on love is describing its purity.

 ‘Love is pure’ said St Paul.  If love is pure, as St Paul says, it suggests that it is not, in fact, a human construction at all – since few would maintain that we humans are ‘all pure’.  St Paul looks at love and sees in it its Divine origin. He sees the Lover Himself, Christ Crucified shedding His Blood for mankind. When Nick Clegg looks at love, he sees two men sharing a life together and living out a sexual relationship which is, at best, restrictive and linear. 

St John says, ‘Let us love one another since God is love’. Nick Clegg says, ‘Let’s have gay marriage because all loves are equal.’ What he has not done is tell us exactly why active homosexual relationships constitute ‘love’ in the first place. It is also noteworthy that the British people are not being given a choice about same-sex marriage despite that an aspect of love is about allowing people choice. Still, we have established already that the State cannot love. God loves us and because God loves us, God allows us, unlike the State, to choose Him, or, indeed not.

See, what concerns me is that in the Church’s understanding, the very word 'love' is rich with profound meaning. Love can drive men to a million different ways of giving themselves to God and their neighbour. Love has driven men to write incredible works for the love of souls. Love has driven people to live in the desert to pray to God without worldly distraction. Love has driven men and women to give up their sexuality as gift for God in religious life. Love has driven men to become missionaries and others to risk their lives in areas of the World in which the Church is openly persecuted. Love has driven couples to be open to children and to raise them in the love of God. Love has driven nuns to care for the sick and dying in Calcutta.

What concerns me most is that through the media the British population are being taught not to think. We are being taught not to probe beneath the surface level of what politicians and other public figures say. We are encouraged to accept it all at face value. Mr Clegg just expects the nation, and seemingly the Royal Family, to accept his pontifications on love and for us not even to think about what he is actually saying. There is, of course, a word for such shallow and superficial comments on matters profound and wonderous by politicians. It is called ‘propaganda’.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his address to the German parliamentrecalled how the State can become a ‘band of robbers’. Today, we are talking about the spiritual robbery that is taking place in the 21st century – the robbery of meaning from words to advance an explict agenda. Orwell called it newspeak. Goebells said that as long as a lie is repeated often enough, it will eventually become believable.

Curiously, few in Britain even dare to question the new definition of love as being something that is guided by our groins, rather than by hearts that seek the good and the edification of others. 

Perhaps we are so steeped in our own sins, so lost in self-interest that we allow the lie to persist that sex = love and that everything we do, good or ill, is somehow begotten of love. For what is love to 21st century man, woman and child today bares little resemblance to what love was to a man even of the previous two centuries. Stripped of its spiritual meaning, its other-centredness, 'love' is merely pleasure, merely a rollercoaster ride through life which has no focus other than our personal contentment. If it is that then we have destroyed it. We have killed it and we allow others in power to continue to destroy it and to kill it on our behalf.

To 21st century man, love is seemingly what we can extract out of others. It appears to be almost totally self-centred, concerned with satisfying self. When we have extracted all we can, like a bee gathering nectar from a flower, we move onto the next one. The best illustration of it is modern attitude to marriage and the family.  We can take it as read that the biggest reason for divorce in this country is that married couples 'fall out of love' with each other or discover that they ‘no longer love one another’. In a previous age, if a man said to a woman, ‘I’m sorry, dear, but I no longer love you,’ the woman would likely say, ‘Well, I struggle to see then in what way you ever loved me.’ Another response could be, ‘What do you mean? Love is a choice.’

'Love' has been so divorced from purity, constancy, loyalty, kindness, patience, long-suffering, selflessness, humility and chastity for so long that we are only lovers so long as we feel like it.  Few have paid it much attention, but before our eyes the love which was affixed, anchored to the seabed of Christianity has been cut loose from its moorings and now floats aimlessly out to a sea, amid a veritable ocean of moral relativism. Each man makes claims of the very tip of love, floating past him, saying: ‘That is mine’, clasping at it as if it were his possession, while love itself is no longer what it was because its mooring was in the sea bed, attached to a rock of Faith. Its very being, its very substance was in God. Love belongs to God. Yet the State is now laying claim to an arena which belongs to God, so that love means something different to what it meant to previous generations. This is robbery. Nothing more, nothing less, for, in the Christian understanding, the 'old understanding', love and lust are two entirely separate things. They are not to be conflated or mistaken for each other and it is certainly not up to the State to declare that lust is love. Still, we have, perhaps, only ourselves to blame.

‘God is dead,’ said Nietzche. ‘We have killed Him.’  It is no surprise that an age that delights in rejecting God, too strips the garments from love, strips it bare indeed. No surprise that an age that rejoices when God is banished from the public sphere, too crowns love with thorns, rather than a garland of beautiful flowers. No surprise that an age that abandons God, too abandons all previous understanding of love for something fashionable and easy. No surprise that an age that has no interest in the pierced Victim that loves all men and women, turns away, only to crucify ‘love’ itself.

We understand that, as Christians, we may not always excel at loving. We all fall short of the Glory of God. At the heart of Christianity, however, is a definition of love which is beautiful, which is excellent and which transcends and even forgets self entirely.  It is holy. It floods the whole World with the Blood and the Water that gushed forth from the Heart of Christ upon the Cross. It is God. God is Love. If we can say anything of God, we can say that God is Love.

Nick Clegg would be wise, if he cannot appreciate this, not to lecture the public upon it, for he is a politician, not a preacher and his definition not only lacks substance. It lacks beauty and it lacks depth.  It is so restrictive that it it is almost hollow. Nick can use whatever rhetorical flourishes he likes to justify that which can never be justified. That’s what politicians do. He should, however, be aware that we are not stupid. He should leave expounding upon love to the Church because while love is not the possession of the Church, the Church's Founder, Father and Sanctifier is Love Itself.

Atheists may say, 'Well who is the Church to say it has the monopoly on love,' to which I would reply, 'Then you tell me, what, then, is love and who are you and more importantly who is the State to define it for all of us? It is, afterall, not your possession. Let's stick with Johnny Cash's eloquent exegesis...

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Advertisement: 40 Hours Brighton and Hove

40 Hours Brighton and Hove starts tomorrow at the 8am Mass at St Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton.

If you're in Brighton pop along to St Mary Magdalen Church to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

See the website for further details.

I have to say I've seen all the guests and speakers at St Mary Magdalen's 150th Anniversary events.

The Lord Jesus is, however, the Main Event.

To learn more about the 40 Hours Devotion, click here.

GMC Threatening to Strike Off Doctors Who Claim Conscience Clause Rights

The Catholic Herald recently published an article concerning murmerings in the General Medical Council's latest consultation on ethical guidelines for its doctors.

The actual ethics held by doctors, however, do not seem to be esteemed enough to feature much in the consultation documents and it appears that those who do not want to perform abortions, refer patients to doctors willing to perform them or to perform sex change operations.

In the United Kingdom, it appears we're moving to a time when the GMC seek to recruit cold and calculating doctors in the mould of Dr Harold Shipman and kiss goodbye to those who went into the medical profession to save, protect and defend human life from conception to natural death.

Therefore, I urge readers to pray and to present your views to the General Medical Council. Please read the message below from a reader:

The General Medical Council (The UK doctors' regulatory body) are about to modify doctors' rights to conscientiously object to certain medical procedures.

They are seeking public views and there is an online consultation which is open to all UK doctors and patients (therefore pretty much all UK residents) that closes AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (UK time).

Some of the new guidance is reasonable but there are other worrying features: I’ll name just a few: in the new guidance it would appear that doctors will be forced to refer patients for sex change operations if the patient requests one (see para. 5—1st footnote*).

Also paragraph 2 states:
 ‘Serious… failure to follow this guidance will put your registration at risk’—threatening to permanently “strike off” doctors if they act in accordance with their consciences and not in accordance with patient demands. 
Also, in para.4 the GMC state that they...

‘expect doctors to be prepared to set aside their personal beliefs’ in certain circumstances.
There’s a link to the new draft guidance here.
 There’s a link to the actual consultation here (it takes only a few minutes to complete): You’ll need to register first which is also quick.
There is some more Catholic background to this at the Anscombe Bioethics website.

Do what you can readers and pray also. This is NOT a good time to be a doctor who holds fast to that which is good. Perhaps its because we have never lived under Communist rule in this country, that there are not alarm bells ringing across the land when conscience rights are under threat or discarded, but I hear that in Eastern Europe there were some doctors who weren't allowed to practise medicine because they were deemed too inimical to the Communist Party. Simple as that. These people ended up being window cleaners and the like.

It's not that far a stretch from telling a doctor that he has to do an abortion, or refer someone to a doctor who will, or else lose his livelihood, to telling a woman that she has to have an abortion, or lose her livelihood since a right can become a duty so very easily. Once the conscience of a doctor has been trampled upon, who is to stop the trampling over the consciences of patients? The fact that the GMC are issuing guidelines that compel doctors to go against their consciences (or else) is something seems to make Eastern Europeans recall Communism. Strange. Maybe when the Berlin Wall, all the Communists just came over here and took over seats at the GMC. Maybe after we've killed the first unborn baby because of a 'two-child policy' or something, we'll have realised that conscience was an important thing after all and we need those window cleaners back.

Alternatively, maybe they need to get rid of those with consciences in the medical profession now before the Government turns all UK Hospitals into killing centres for the elderly, terminally sick, infirm and societally 'unproductive'.

Your Signature Handed to Number 10 Downing Street...

...not necessarily to protest against or oppose 'gay marriage', since the institution has never before needed a prefix, but to defend Marriage as an institution that precedes both Church and State as a union between one man and one woman.

Education, Education, Edukayshun...

Ketamine: Just one drug of choice for the modern youth
I'm currently studying (again) a course, one day a week, for teaching adults in the lifelong learning sector. On the course, I've learned some pretty staggering statistics about the percentages of British people who leave school unable to read or write.

It is worth noting that, according to one report, half of the arrested looters from last years riots were unable to read or write. Another report suggests that 1 in 4 children of school leaving age in London cannot read or write. Both of my course tutors claim that we are moving towards a society in which, much like a previous age (a dark age, perhaps) the ability to read and write will be the privilege of an elite.

The inability or incompetence of State schooling to provide children and teenagers with a basic ability to read and write has created, in turn, a whole voluntary sector industry of adult teachers in literacy and numeracy. The Government often throws its hands up in the air, acknowledging the truth of the matter and tub-thumping that 'things must improve'. There are even sanctions against schools who don't 'perfom'.

Michael Gove, two days ago, asked for schools to return to 'traditional values' in, for example, numeracy, so that after all the advice from pedagogists and educational specialists, the thinkers in the social sciences, the answer to giving children basic numeracy is repetition of multiplications or 'times tables'. He's also asking whether Latin and Greek could be taught from the age of 7. I find Gove's insistence that after all the 'progressive' attempts within State education that, in fact, our forebears were right all along intriguing. However, Gove's new ideals for modern State education for a more traditional, strict interpretation of reading, writing and maths (+Latin) to create a properly educated youth may not work.

Teachers (usually portrayed as rabid lefties) have come in for a great deal of flak for quite some time. Teachers do a hard job, are weighed down by reams of paperwork, are paid not very well and are derided in the national press as being responsible for the terrible state of modern education. Government gets blamed too and so, too, do parents. But if children are not learning to read and write at school, then could it be that there is, in fact, something also wrong with the nation's children?

I'd posit that there is something deeply wrong. For instance, Gove wants schools to return to 'traditional values' in education, even Latin, which I find fascinating. Will a return to 'traditional values' in educational matters work, however, if the children aren't taught 'traditional values' in general? Damian Thompson has a new book out called The Fix, in which he suggests that in the US, children are actually snorting their ADHD tablets for hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. Concentration levels in the classroom seems to be a big problem generally, as well as behaviour and classroom management. In the press, we hear reports of children becoming alcoholics. We hear of children as young as 12 and 11 claiming, upon investigation as to why they were having sex at such a young age, that they were merely "bored".

Worryingly, if children develop a problem with drugs, they're not encouraged to talk to their parents about it. They're encouraged to 'Talk to Frank' - that is - the Government which gives us a hint of the dystopia to come. Is there a possibility, just the feintest chance, that the sweated-brows of teachers, ministers and Ofsted inspectors desperately searching for the 'right kind of education' to get the nation's kids reading, writing and adding up again is all in vain because the nation's children are too busy shagging, 'sexting', sexually experimenting, getting pregnant once, twice, thrice, and aborting all three, getting smashed on alcohol, watching porn, learning how to use people, abuse people and getting high on drugs to be interested in Latin, Greek, Shakespeare and algebra?

Hey! It's just a theory! Or is that theorem?

You know, if I had not got embroiled in a 'very intense relationship' at University, didn't 'go along with the crowd', didn't dabble with this or that, if I hadn't spent so much time getting absurdly drunk with friends on a very regular basis, sleep with different people of different genders and generally live what one might call a 'hedonistic lifestyle', maybe, just maybe, I'd have got a first in Politics, rather than a 2:1. I had a couple of friends who did an incredible amount of ecstasy at University. Two of them were very intelligent and yet they got a third. Could there be a link? Upon learning of his third, I heard one say, "Yeah, I probably could have got a 2:1 or maybe a first, but all I wanted to do was take drugs." He's doing very well in life now, so I hear - better than me. Well paid job, marriage, family, kids, house, but maybe, just maybe it was a good thing educationally speaking that he wasn't doing what he was doing at Uni, and I wasn't doing what I was doing at Uni, at the age of 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Of course, Government and schools are trying to deal with the fallout of the drug-taking, sex-addicted, sexting, pornography-watching modern child. It's called PSHE. It's about raising 'awareness' of 'issues'. Posters about the dangers of drugs are everywhere in schools. Posters about the dangers of alcohol are everywhere in schools. Posters about the need for kids to 'wear condoms' are often seen. Posters about how to top up your 'C-Card' are dotted about. Why, I wonder, did Tony Blair's mission of "education, education, education" become a case of "education, education, edukayshun"? And don't tell me its because teachers have been teaching phonetics.

"Things can only get better"...Yeah, right! How many neighbourhoods have to get burnt down before Government, schools and society realises that actually, our morality matters because it is actually our morality that informs everything we do - even how or indeed whether we study or learn. Michael Gove wants a return to 'traditional values', eh? Well, Michael, I know you're not going to like this, but why not consider sticking one of these (see below) in every classroom, keep those RE lessons and get the kids reciting the Rosary for 25 minutes at the beginning of every day. You can't say we can't go "back" now, because, after all, you want 'traditional values'. Oh and why not consider having the prayers in Latin too...

...because if children do not know what is right and what is wrong, the difference between the two and why, then you may just as well leave them in the classroom with a Scrabble board, two kilos of cocaine, some porn mags, a crate of super strength premium lager, a gallon or two of petrol and a box of matches because, let's face it: they're going to do it one day anyway....

Tottenham, London, United Kingdom: Summer 2011

At least if you teach them traditional morality, Mr Gove, and they still come out illiterate, then they might at least think twice about torching buildings because as far as I can see, most of those kids treat drugs, sex and buildings as the same thing: recreation. Gosh...what have schools been teaching them for all these years?

Thursday 7 June 2012

Breaking: Danish Government Overrides Church on Gay Marriage

An article on the Telegraph website puts paid to the notion that 'gay marriage' won't involve the Church doing something it doesn't feel comfortable with when 'gay couples' approach Priests asking for a same-sex marriage.

Oh, but that's in Denmark so its different. It would all be different in the United Kingdom because we've got this tradition of 'fair play'...

Denmark introduced gay and lesbian 'civil unions' in 1989. I expect that Churches who opposed the move received reassurances that the Church would never be forced to go against its teachings, just as they have been in the United Kingdom. 23 years later, however, the newspapers declare that the 'right to marry in Church' has been extended to homosexual and lesbian couples. One man's 'right' is, of course, another man's duty towards the State.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Jubilee Babies

God save the Queen. Long may she reign over us. I was thinking maybe this country needs a Monarchist revolution to remove all power from the State and return it to the Queen until Her Majesty finds a group of parliamentarians who will defend life, liberty and the Christian Faith of which she is Defender, because the current lot can't defend unborn babies or even marriage.

Not 'Anarchy in the UK', because that's already here, but 'Monarchy in the UK'. On day 2 of the Monarchist Revolution, first in the Tower, I hope, would be Polly Toynbee, Queen of the Fabian left in the United Kingdom.

In place of the Monarch, whose tradition and Christianity Toynbee despises, just what kind of State-ran tyrannical liberal-left, joyless, Godless storm-trooping 'Little China' would this country be?

I didn't watch much of the Diamond Jubilee today, but was a little surprised that the BBC were covering the births of 'Jubilee Babies' at St Thomas Hospital, London, while only weeks ago the same BBC were on the radio talking to ladies going into abortion clinics about how fab aborting your unborn child is and doing their usual anti-baby propaganda. I think that little abortion plug may just have been in response to the enormously successful 40 Days for Life campaign.

In order to be truly faithful to their remit to 'educate, inform and entertain' its audience, especially in these times when abortion is such a readily accessible service - part of British life - really the BBC should have also been stationed at BPAS covering the Jubilee babies being executed either medically or sugically in their mother's wombs as well as the ones being delivered to the joy of their mothers and fathers at St Thomas's. Or did BPAS get a day off work today?

I know that would have been terribly bad taste for such a grand and joyous day for the people of the United Kingdom as today...but hey, at least it would have cheered Polly up a little, because there are few things that makes the Queen of the liberal-left as happy as knowing there's one of her sisters out there killing her sprog (possibly another of her unborn sisters) and one less (probably poor) baby not making it into this World. See, Polly's both a feminist and on the side of poor people (when she's not living it up in her second or third home in another country and enjoying the lifestyle that comes with being the beneficiary of enormous privilege).

Yes, a Monarchist revolution. What with our parliamentarian's popularity going through the floor and into a fiery pit while the Queen goes from strength to strength, it could be a flyer. I know its been tried before, of course, but...

Saturday 2 June 2012

Language, Identity and the New Lexicon of the State

From Dystopia

Before I start this blogpost, I would just like to take this opportunity to tell you that I am a very important person. Does that sound a little haughty, a little un-English, a little immodest, a tad arrogant?

Well, it is none of those things to say that I am a very important person. In fact, every Catholic should acknowledge just what a terribly important person I am.

Why? Certainly not because of any merit of my own and most certainly not because I can sing and play the guitar at the same time (I didn't say well). No. In fact I am largely unemployed and prone to a degree of depression. But I am a very important person and I should like others to acknowledge it only because God clearly thought that I was such an important person that for me He became incarnate of the Virgin Mary and was made Man. For this reason, I know I am an important person and I should like even the State to acknowledge it.

You see. For me, did God assume flesh and blood. For me did the infinite and eternal God dwell on Earth for 33 years in an existence like ours for He was like us in all things save for sin. For me did He undergo a cruel and terrible rejection. For me did He carry the heavy Cross to Golgotha and for me did He die. For me did he destroy the power of Hell and open up the gates to Heaven. For me He rose on the third day and for me did He ascend to Heaven in His Risen and Glorious Body, so that I may follow after death to where He is now, with the Blessed Mother of God and all the Saints in the Blessed joy of Heaven. If, after God has done all that for me, you do not think I am a very important person, then I would say you are not a Catholic.

And if fame were to be something to be greatly desired then all the Faithful should rejoice sincerely for our names are not written across newspapers and magazines, but instead they are, we are told, 'written in Heaven' like the jet stream from red arrows flying across a hopefully blue London sky. Yes, the reality is that, to God, I am a very important person. Obviously, I'm not more important than anyone else, because all people are very important people in God's sight - Catholics and non-Catholics of every race, age, sexual orientation, ability and gender. In fact, not only are you and I so important that Jesus Christ should cross the threshold from Heaven to Earth and from Earth to Heaven, but you and I are so important that we are offered nothing less than union with God Himself, through Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. We are so important to God that He desires that even should we fall away from the love which unites we and He, then He Himself will forgive and renew us through Confession and make us worthy of Him. We are so important that God desires and wills to unite Himself to us and us to Himself. So important to Him are we that the same Jesus gives us His own Body and Blood so that we are given the power and the grace not to live as strangers or enemies of God, but as friends and disciples and lovers of God - not orphans as we perhaps once were - but adopted sons and daughters of the Triune God.

So, why would I say all this: for surely I am preaching to the converted? Surely every Catholic knows this and any potential atheist reader has stopped reading and gone elsewhere? Well, I say this because there is, as we know, a battle going on. It is not just a battle for our souls and the souls of our brothers and sisters inside the Church and outside of Her that we are used to. It is a battle for our very identity and it is becoming now a battle between the State and its allies on one side and, on the other, the Catholic Church and those with a measure of goodwill towards Her teaching in some matters, if not all - yes, even Protestants and, yes, even atheists. What is more, it is a battle which has been brewing for quite some time. So why is there a battle for our identity? Why should human identity be so important? Why should it become a battle ground or even a war?

Well, how we define ourselves, or how we allow others to define our selves pretty much defines and shapes how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. In fact, it pretty much defines everything, even the laws that shape how we are governed. How we define ourselves and allow ourselves to be defined too defines whether we are free human beings or whether we will find that Orwell's vision of a society in which 'slavery is freedom' can morph into a terrifying reality. Orwell's dystopic vision is not of a society in which people are literally in chains working in gulags 24 hours a day while worshipping the State. The point is that the majority of people get and the State get along just fine. The State and most people are, in fact, in perfect harmony. The State, in fact, is more or less God to the people.

In every dystopic vison novel, the State plays a key role in ensuring that most people are contented for as long as people are necessary or productive. Of course, people needed persuading. People had to be convinced of the State's 'truths' in order to renounce their own liberty and give themselves to its service and for this Orwell cites the near constant stream of propaganda that the organs of the State spew forth onto its general populace - a populace which is near, if not totally, global. The message is that you are either in 'the Party' or you are not. If you are not, because you and the 'Party' are in disagreement, then for you, poor dear, the party is over. To enforce conventional State wisdom, Thought Police are required to counter subversive insurgency or bids for freedom of speech, thought and conscience. Entire 'Ministries' are established to oversee the dystopia with comic, if tragic, names, policies and outcomes and a key element in the victory of the State's propaganda machine is the new lexicon, which Orwell calls 'Newspeak'.

The overwhelming majority of the citizens presumably accept this new lexicon - this altering of words and changing of the meaning of words because they are repeated so often that even lies are accepted. Can we see this happening today? The answer is, as Obama fans often used to chant, 'Yes, we can!' Words and definitions are important since they are the method of delivery by which we understand concepts and ideas and the past 50 years has seen a staggeringly high number of alterations and redefinitions of words. And how very interesting it is that so many of the words and definitions which we used to use, over a period of time, came to either be changed or to mean something else or be reconstructed in ways which touch upon the definition, classification and reassignment of us - human beings.

Few plants, animals or invertebrae have been redefined, but we human beings and those issues that touch upon our very humanity and our perception of our humanity most definitely have. So just off the top of my head, here are a few examples: Unborn babies become fetuses. 'Gay' meant happy, joyful radiant, but now means homosexual. Illicit lovers or those living in sin were 'fornicators' but now they're 'partners'. Sodomy is 'gay love'. Drug addiction is 'substance misuse'. Abortion or 'termination' was once deemed to be child destruction in those less 'enlightened' times and both abortion and contraception are now aspects of 'family planning', 'reproductive freedom' or 'reproductive health', 'termination' and abortion after conception has failed can even become 'emergency contraception'. Even war and invasion is, with the UN, becoming a 'peace-keeping mission'. When the State invades a household and steals the children on grounds that can objectively be called dubious it is called 'removing children and placing them into "Care". Always, of course, it is 'in the best interest of the child'. I wonder, was 'sex education' ever called something else, like marriage preparation? A man who believes he is or wants to be a woman is 'trangender'. Who on earth first came up with the phrase 'mercy killing'? What is 'assisted dying' if it is not killing someone if with their consent? How could 'dignity' become associated with the very same idea?

In so many ways, I am sure you can think of more, words and definitions have been changed and, whether they sprang from any grassroots democratic movement originally, or not, the State has most certainly adopted all of these words and definitions that make up a new lexicon of human ideas because obviously it sees some great merit on advancing ideas about human beings and humanity which distort or cover up the previously, long-held  and established truth that they conveyed. I'm yet to be persuaded by any argument that posits that abortion is not murder, yet we are constantly bombarded by the idea that it is not because, fundamentally, the State and its allies simply refuse to recognise that a new human being in the womb could be attributed humanity. I'm yet to be persuaded by any argument that such a thing as 'gay or same sex marriage' could even exist because the word 'marriage' means the union of a man and a woman, members of the human race who are different, not the same. In order to argue for it, you have to change the meaning of the word itself which, personally, I think should not be allowed. I'd call the crime 'word destruction' but I'm not in any position of power. What the State says, apparently, is the way ahead - the great leap forward, indeed, and who am I, a backward simpleton who is yet to emerge from the 'dark ages' to understand the State's divine mandate to alter the meaning of words and cast their previous meanings into oblivion?

Except..except, I am a citizen, supposedly of the United Kingdom. I am a human being. First, before anything else I am a human being. I was a human being from the first moment of my conception in my mothers womb. I am just at a different stage of my 'being' than I was when I was 'being' in the womb. One day, by God's grace, I hope to be 'being' in Heaven united to God in the company of all the Holy Angels, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints because I am also a Catholic. My second 'birth' was at my Baptism at which I was born into a new relationship with God. I hope and pray to God that after my death, I do not suffer the 'second death'. It is possible, though, because despite the fact that I am a very important person to God, I can refuse His love and friendship by turning away from Him through sin. That is because I am a sinner, one who has refused His love in the past and who still falls into sin, on occasion mortal, more often venial, but there by the Grace of God go I, or indeed, not. It just so happens that I have a condition which is now known as 'same-sex attraction'. I freely admit that I am sometimes attracted to members of the same sex as myself. I do not claim to know why this is so. What I have, I freely profess, is an inclination which constitutes an objective moral disorder because I am drawn to be attracted to members of the same sex, in a sexual way, which the law of nature near universally entirely contradicts. Is this my fault? No. It is a fallen World and I accept that because it is a fallen World, I am wounded by Original Sin. Does such a condition mean I could never be a Saint? No, it does not, for the Church proclaims that I am called to embrace the Cross and be close to Jesus and Mary.

So, why am I saying all this? Why am I preaching to the converted? I say this because I recognise that the language used in the above passage is offensive to many in the United Kingdom. It is offensive to the irreligious. It is offensive to the 'gay community' (as if all 'gays' are in the same 'community' - if only they were then the Churches would truly be full of redeemed and truly gay Catholics of Brighton, Manchester and Soho). It is offensive to those who believe that in order to be a true participant and citizen in the United Kingdom, one must abide by certain rules of language. However, I am a citizen of the United Kingdom and until it is declared otherwise or I am silenced, I am free to use this language, whether people are offended or not. I have a right to express my opinion. It just so happens that my opinion is in line with Catholic teaching. That is freedom of speech. I am also exercising freedom of religion. My freedom of conscience urges me on. My freedom of thought gives me inspiration. I also say these things because under the sight of Heaven above, I am allowed to identify myself in accordance with my beliefs, even were my beliefs not to be religiously motivated. I do not begrudge anyone who chooses to identify themselves as 'gay' or 'lesbian'. I have, in my past, idenfitied myself as such. What I do begrudge is growing trend for the language which I have used to be deemed either 'intolerable' or 'intolerant' by the State and its allies.

My point is this: Who gave the State the power to define which of its citizens uses the 'correct' language in the new lexicon and which of its citizens uses the 'incorrect' language? The Church's language is 'intolerant'. The State's language is 'tolerant', aside from the fact that its language and its actions are intolerant of those with beliefs that contradict its new and mighty authority. The authority which is granted to the State is given to it by God. The Church has authority from Almighty God to teach. The State has authority to govern, not to 'reeducate' people and stamp out their 'outdated' beliefs. Only totalitarian regimes do that. Why, I ask you, does the State have the authority suddenly to redefine words, meanings of words, human institutions that pre-date it and call any opposition to its agenda 'bigoted' and 'intolerant', but as soon as any dissent is raised to its style of governance, those people's rights to freedom of expression are questioned and they are painted as gross malefactors? What makes the State's view of 'truth' more valid or credible than the Truth proclaimed by the Holy Church of God? The State's message is not more credible or valid, it is simply different to that of the Church and apparently more popular than that of the Church.  It has been made popular by years and years of media-channelled secular-atheist-liberal propaganda aimed at the lowest and basest aspects of our human nature. Yet, the power of that propaganda means that in just half a century we have experiened:

The redefinition of human persons - who is and who is not, the redefinition of marriage, the redefinition of child murder, the redefinition of war, the redefinition of the destruction of family life, the redefinition of human identity along purely sexual lines, the redefinition of unnatural sexual relations, even unions, the redefinition of sex outside of marriage, the redefinition of 'equality', of 'fairness' of 'tolerance', the redefinition of the killing of the vulnerable, weak and sick, the redefinition of even 'welfare', of 'planning to have a family/family planning' and, with the advent of IVF, the redefinition of human reproduction itself. Truly, this is a veritable brave new world and these redefinitions have altered, in the popular imagination, society's view of so much that touches on our humanity.

That nearly all of this is readily sanctioned and endorsed by the State is terrifying, not because the State has merely abandoned the God of Christianity, but because the only State that does all these things in the name of a new 'progressive' vision of mankind brought under its unyielding power is the State that believes that, far from being some kind of 'shadow' of God on Earth, it is, indeed God! A god that demands loyalty, obedience, fear and while it cannot yet elicit love, unquestioning approval and nearly totally passive, indifferent electorate. Now that so few men actually believe, 'being God is a dirty job, but hey, someone's got to do it'. Best leave it to the State, eh? Because with CCTV and modern technology, its becoming 'omnipresent' and fast. But first, all the opposition must be crushed since two infallible, mutually contradictory versions of the truth can never happily co-exist.

The Almighty God, because of all that He has done for me, gives me an identity which makes the State's and its notorious allies' 'official version' look cheap, vulgar, insulting, patronising, dehumanising, demeaning, undignified and crass. I may be a man with same-sex attraction. I am certainly gay. I may be a sinner. But, I'm Laurence England and as things stand I am a free man. I am a child of God. I am raised to a dignity which no man can ever take away from me and who knows, maybe one day, I and others like me, we, yes we may be Saints, because those who stand against the tyranny of relativism and the creed of liberalism and the State that extols the virtues of both, may yet be honoured with a new and glorious title: the enemies of the State. Oh, what a wonderful time it is to be a Catholic in the United Kingdom, but, that said, it looks like Protestants and even some atheists should prepare for Room 101 as well. That should make for an interesting prison chat!

And why would we be there? Because we hold that we are very important people - as important as those meeting in Chantilly, Virginia, making 'global governance' decisions which will affect us. We would be in a cell for holding the view that we are very important people, that the elderly are very important people, that the unborn children are very important people, that the mentally ill, the poor, the crippled, the lame are very important people, that Tony Nicklinson is a very important person, that our freedom and liberty of speech, conscience and thought is important, the Ls, the Gs, the Bs and the Ts too because we are very important to God since His Death and Resurrection was for all mankind even if only 'the many' would apply its merits to themselves!

By the way,  as a footnote, I see that the BBC report on Turkey and the Prime Minister's attack on abortion failed to mention his personal assessment of the practice as a tool of population control. The BBC report only mentions that he worries that the population is declining. Funny that. I wonder: Why would the BBC not report what he actually said? After all, the UN has never had any problem with encouraging 'population control' while simultaeneously advocating 'reproductive healthcare' for countries across the globe. Why are the BBC so coy about it?

Friday 1 June 2012


Where will you find the President of the World Bank Group, the Commander of the US Cyber Command, Peter Mandelson, Kenneth Clarke, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the Executive Chairman of Google, the Director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University, a columnist at the Wall Street Journal, the Editor in Chief of the Economist, a Vice Presient of the European Commission and Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Henry Kissinger, the CEO of Le Monde, the Chairman and CEO of Lazard, the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, the Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc, a National Security Advisor to the White House, the Group Chief Executive of BP, the Chairman of the Management Board and Group Executive Committee of Deutsche Bank plc, the Chairman of Barclays, the Governor of the Bank of Canada and Gary Kasparov, all under one roof among a host of other 'very influential people'?

The answer is: Chantilly,Virginia, USA, today.

Where will you find the minutes of their meeting?

Sorry, that link seems not to be working at the moment.

Death, Dignity and Dystopia

Rest in Peace: The band, Joy Division, took their name from the prostitute wing of a Nazi death camp mentioned in the 1955 novel, The House of Dolls. The singer, who suffered epilepsy, took his life in 1980 at the age of just 23 following a battle with depression. He is still dearly missed by his friends, his family and his many, many fans.

From Dystopia

To recap, then: we are all terrified of both suffering and death. Both are parts of our human experience that we wish to avoid and, to this end, doctors and nurses in the United Kingdom take seriously their vocation to bring medical relief to the suffering and to make death as painless as is medically and ethically possible.

And to recap once more, the attraction of 'assisted dying' or rather, 'assisted suicide', or even voluntary euthanasia, if we are to refuse modern Newspeak, is that we can obtain a measure of control over suffering and our fear of death by at least asserting control over our destiny then we feel more comfortable about death because we can convince ourselves we can master it. We have considered some of the moral and spiritual consequences of the propaganda that surrounds the issue of voluntary euthanasia.

But what does a society that permits 'assisted dying' look like? Well, surely it would look like a society that bears no resemblence to its forgotten Christian past, in days in which the sanctity of human life was defended by both Church and State, for, in those days before the emergence of the 'brave new world', it was deemed that the spiritual or eternal consequences of suicide were to be avoided and that courage, compassion, love, patience in suffering and virtue were to be promoted. Human dignity was to be defended not because it was arbitrary or in the eye of the beholder, but because human dignity was something objective - not something that illness, disease, or suffering could erase from a person. And, for those who believed in the Church and in God, despite trial and physical pain, people believed, rightly that their reward would be in their souls.

Of course, an age that abandons traditional Christian beliefs too necessarily abandons the hope that came with them and, in fact, it is only because we live in a more atheistic age that British society finds itself assailed by a concerted media-driven propaganda campaign to soften its attitudes on 'assisted suicide', since, were it a Christian society, such a message would be rejected forcibly by the public and, presumably, the majority of the politicians who emerged from that society.

But we do not live in that age anymore and we cannot, apparently, 'go back' and if euthanisia is to be born in the United Kingdom, it could well be that it happens because abortion was born first. For what links abortion and euthanasia is the choice of death over life.  In abortion, a doctor and a patient choose death for an unborn patient. In euthanasia, were it come to pass, a doctor and a patient choose death for the patient. Both choices are not choices of hope and life, but choices of despair and death and it is despair that dominates societies which have and continue to embrace sin and reject God. It is noteworthy, too, that the growing popularity of the movement for assisted suicide comes after the United Kingdom has accepted and grown accustomed to abortion and other social evils such as divorce and the breakdown of the institution of the family.

Without recourse even to the teaching of the Church, we can say that natural law, which is open to those who follow their conscience in the light of reason, would dictate that divorce, abortion and family breakdown are bad for individuals and all of society, promoting division over unity, death over life, despair over hope. When a society has embraced such social evils as the above, then it is, one could say, natural that despair would reign in that society since the natural bonds that bind together families, communities and individuals break down to such an extent, that unhappiness is the result. Many women, for example, regret their abortions and a number suffer anxiety, guilt, alcoholism and unhappiness as a result - some even taking their own lives eventually.

The natural happiness of a good conscience which arises out of what Greek philosophers would describe as the virtuous life decreases so much in a society that death itself appears better than life because life has become miserable, ravaged by pain, guilt, depression, fear and despair. The United Kingdom is now in its anti-depressant age and many citizens are dependent upon pharmaceutical drugs (as well as illegal drugs) just to 'make it through the night'. After all, you only get one life and is there really any more than this?

It is only in this kind of society, where not only is God and the Law of God erased from public life, but the natural law is discarded, that a drive for voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide can flourish for once the party is over and the hangover kicks in and the superficial pleasures of the World which brought relief and escape are over, what other form of escape from our condition do we have, but death itself?  British society is being brought to its knees, but the population no longer look to God or the Church for the answer, since the answer is unpalatable, salutary and displeasing. And so, sorrowfully, the population begins to look to the State or to others with influence, such as the world of celebrity and the media, for answers.

Dignity in Dying, which was once called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, would, fifty years ago, have been considered as a bunch of cranks whose agenda was transparently evil because they proposed suicide as the answer to social ills.

The organisation had to change its name because, like the Eugenics Society that became the Galton Institute, the Voluntary Euthansia Society became tainted by the Nazi tyranny which embraced both eugenics and volutary euthansia until they stopped asking the 'unfit' it they'd actually like to be killed and just did it anyway. In the 21st century, however, the agenda of Dignity in Dying, which is essentially the same agenda as it was in 1935, is hovering over the United Kingdom and receiving an unhealthy measure of interest. A sufferer of 'locked in syndrome' called Tony Niklinson maintains that his life is "dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable", according to The Times (Tuesday 13 March, 2012) and so is campaigning for the right to ask a doctor to kill him without the doctor facing prosecution. Could the phrase 'hard cases create bad law' be any more apt for this discussion? Since, if the State allows 'mercy killing' (another Newspeak phrase among the vast range of Newspeak phrases) in this case, then to whom can the State turn down an application to be voluntarily killed by a third party?

The answer is, of course, that if the level of human suffering and degradation is subjective according to the sufferer, then a loophole in the law allowing the killing of Tony Nicklinson opens up the avenue for many people with various conditions to come forward to be killed in the future since they deem their lives not worthy of being called 'life'. Nicklinson claims he 'does not want to dribble into old age'. Well, who of us would? And faced with 'end of life issues' such as dementia, incontinence, dribbling, chronic pain and incapacity and being dependent on the care of others, Nicklinson's reasons for desiring assisted suicide could be attributable to any of us. Many in old age or who suffer terminal illness face this very reality. The point is that when the State and the medical associations (and the media) and thus all of society endorse Tony's view that his life is 'unfit' to be called life, by killing him, then we have implicitly made the statement that it is not just Tony's view, but it is the view of the State and society. If somebody's reason for being killed by a doctor was summed up in the belief that they do not want to 'be a burden' then as soon as we permit their killing, we have made the declaration that, far from being a loveable person requiring our compassionate care, that the person was indeed 'a burden' on society or was, in some sense, 'unfit to live'.

As soon as we allow for the idea that there are some people who are 'unfit to live', who are 'a burden on others' or who no longer have dignity, but that their only source of dignity is death itself, then we create the framework for a society that believes that death is the answer to the host of mental and physical illnesses present in society at large. Once a State and society has endorsed this idea for a given length of time, it would not be in the slightest bit surprising if that State and that society promoted voluntary euthanasia as an answer to all of those problems. Before very long, you create a society in which anyone can be killed voluntarily on their own assessment of their situation and it does not take a great leap of the imagination to suggest that the movement from individual, subjective assessment of one's own need for death as the escape from illness, disease, or dependence on the State and others for care becomes so commonly assessed as reqnhsuiring death as a 'solution' that the State itself deems death to be the 'solution' to the problem itself and considers itself more able to make the decision about your life, or your death, than you.

But ,'Surely', I hear you cry, 'In the United Kingdom, this could never happen, because not only is assisted suicide still illegal, bar for a couple of High Court cases, but also the framework of law and apparatus to be prepared for the legal, judicially decided killing of those incapable of 'seeing their own need' for the State's intervention in this matter is not yet in place? We're not anywhere near Nazi Germany!' Well, Germany isn't that far away from us and the apparatus is in place. So is the law. The law is called the Mental Incapacity Act and the apparatus is called The Court of Protection, which operates, not terribly surprisingly, in secret. Now, do I have your attention? The apparatus for a 'final' if more subtle 'solution' for the 'unproductive' and 'unfit' in the United Kingdom is in place, but it relies first upon the British population accepting and swallowing the propaganda first and, just as the BBC was used to spread the sexual revolution and the wrecked families and little unborn corpses it left in its wake, the over-turning of the idea that suicide isn't really a 'good thing' is, once again being promoted by the televisual arm of the State.

In all honesty, it is plausible that the Galton Institute which was known as British Eugenics Society, which incidentally has deep links with the relevant Royal Societies (Happy Diamond Jubilee, Your Majesty!) is also on good terms with Dignity in Dying, which was known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. What with the abortion clinics started by various members of the British Eugenics Society being well and truly models of commercial and eugenic success in the United Kingdom, one almost wonders if the Dignity in Dying members believe that abortion clinics could actually double up as euthansia clinics. Why build new clinics to kill NHS patients when clinics that kill NHS patients already exist?

Bigger bins would be needed, naturally, though I suppose incineration would be the most environmentally safe way to cull the masses. After all, we don't want more landfill do we? That's 'dignity in dying' and its eugenics too, since the Galton Institute are interested in eliminating the diseased, the imperfect, the 'inferior', the disabled, the weak and 'unfit' before birth using the pretext of 'genetics' via the use of pre-natal scans and, in IVF, pre-implantation diagnosis. After birth, should the imperfect have the audacity to escape the womb, the Dignity in Dying lobby are there to promote the 'end of life' plan once the 'unfit' are born into a society that finds their existence intolerable. That's how you create a eugenic utopia, an apparently 'better world', otherwise known by people who are not pathological fanatics of serial killing, as a State-led dystopia. But there is a better World and in that better World, the 'world without end' dwells the souls of those who fought for our World to reflect the joy, the love and the abundant kindness and mercy of Heaven. Do not let the morbid, deathly, misanthoropic, inhuman State into which we are born sing you to sleep. Defend the sanctity of your life, defend the sanctity of all human life, at all possible cost...

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

It has been a long time since I have put finger to keyboard to write about our holy Catholic Faith, something I regret, but which I put larg...