Not sitting, but busy

Lord Norton

The House of Commons was sitting last week and again this week.  It has been busy with the Second Readings of the Government’s two major constitutional measures (the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill and the Fixed-Term Parliaments Bill).  The House of Lords is not sitting, but the fact that MPs are in session has consequences for many peers.  There is a great deal of parliamentary activity, including meetings of all-party groups and briefings by ministers. 

I have been struck by just how many peers are in the Palace.  My office has been busy – almost as busy as when the House is sitting – with the Baronesses O’Cathain and Fookes busy at their desks.  I have bumped into several peers in or on the way to Portcullis House.    The Atrium in Portcullis House has been as busy as it normally is when both Houses are in session.

This activity, though, creates some problems on our side.  The fact that the Commons is sitting means that some of the building work and refurbishment has been suspended or completed.  However, at our end of the Palace, the work continues, with some parts inaccessible because of building works.  Indeed, the River restaurant is presently accessed primarily from the courtyard rather than from within the Palace.  Getting from one part to another is a bit like negotiating an obstacle course, though it is less problematic than it has been in recent weeks. 

Normal service will resume in less than three weeks’ time.  The House of Lords returns on 5 October.  In the interim, we have the excitement of the party conferences.

30 comments for “Not sitting, but busy

  1. RichR
    15/09/2010 at 9:17 pm

    This may be an odd question, but will oral statements made and urgent questions answered during the September session be repeated in the Lords once it returns in October?

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      17/09/2010 at 10:34 am

      RichR: Good question. Statements made in the Commons are no longer all automatically repeated in the Lords, though most are. To reduce pressure on time in the chamber, there is discussion about taking some in Grand Committee rather than on the Floor of the House. It is unlikely that the three statements made in the Commons this month will be repeated when the House returns. Urgent questions are particular to each House. An urgent question taken in one is not repeated in the other, though it would be open to a member to seek to seek to raise the same matter in the same way in the other.

    15/09/2010 at 11:09 pm

    Party conferences are not excitement, they are events were politicians do nothing but congratulate one another for agreeing with each other, then try to rally the troops onto a new agenda, which they attempt to hammer out, then turn to hating one another for disagreements.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      17/09/2010 at 10:36 am

      Zarone: I rather think you misinterpreted my use of the word excitement!

      • 17/09/2010 at 4:37 pm

        Conferences can be ‘incitements’; quite apart from their ‘sensational-excitement’, ‘workplace-stimulation’, or ‘transient-high-activity’ . . . . .

        Remember Biology’s MRS GREN list of the seven common processes that every living thing has ?
        BBC ‘Bitesize Revision’ sez:

        ‘Sensitivity’ is elsewhere replaced by ‘Irritability’, and elsewhere by ‘Excitability’.
        (I’ve not yet come across ‘stimulability’ in any authorised-version of The Biology).

  3. Matthew
    16/09/2010 at 4:22 am

    It’s very encouraging to see peers doing effectively altruistic work when none is expected.

    Kudos to you and may these institutional ethics and idealism continue indefinitely, along with the learned expertise afforded by appointments and the lack of politicking which follows.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      17/09/2010 at 10:47 am

      Matthew: Many thanks. I should be honest and admit I do enjoy being in Westminster; I find it an excellent working environment. Apart from getting on with desk work, I find meeting others – this is one of the advantages now of the social space in Portcullis House – valuable for adding to my knowledge as well as for political intelligence.

      I am struck by the commitment of other peers who come in and devote time to dealing with paperwork and the various parliamentary activities that continue even though we are not sitting. I was in the House on Wednesday for nearly twelve hours – until I had to catch a train – and one of the other peers in the office was there for about ten hours. In respect of our particular office, it was like a normal working day when the House is sitting.

      I’ll be back again early week. I have a meeting with a visiting delegation of Indonesian parliamentarians.

      • 17/09/2010 at 4:51 pm

        “…adding to… political intelligence…”

        Hasn’t Britain always meant ‘information’ when perversely applying instead this much higher mind-functional word “intelligence” to “knowledge-gleaning” and “spying” ?


  4. simon
    16/09/2010 at 12:42 pm

    Personally I can’t wait. The specter of the commons without the lords is worrying and I cannot see the need for it given how quickly bills get whipped through the
    commons, in the new politics just as much as the old it seems.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      17/09/2010 at 10:48 am

      Simon: The new situation does put particular pressure on the Lords. We shall need to be vigilant as a House.

  5. 16/09/2010 at 12:44 pm

    Lord Norton,
    Maybe someone can get a photo through a Westminster Palace Window of HH Benedict XVI passing by. The news media certainly bills this as a State visit — is it State or Pastoral? One way to tell is when (as I assume he will) he goes to Buckingham Palace will he proceed down the Mall?

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      17/09/2010 at 10:49 am

      Frank Wynerth Summers III: It is a state visit (which is causing something of a controversy, not least because of the cost). The Pope is addressing a meeting of parliamentarians and others in Westminster Hall later today. He has already met the Queen, not in Buckingham Palace but in the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh.

      • 17/09/2010 at 12:19 pm

        Lord Norton,
        I thank you for the clarification and it is still good to have. However, as life works five minutes after I typed the question I cam across a part of “the media” I actually turst about 95% as much as a first-hand source like yourself who confirmed several of the details you gave but not all.
        I think there would have been a cost of it not being a State visit as well Lord Norton. No man is an island even on Great Britain…
        I hope it is a fruitfull exchange for all.

  6. 16/09/2010 at 11:41 pm

    Two relevant questions, please :
    In the present state of British democracy, what cold and perhaps should we the People and any serious ‘ordinary’ individual citizen be doing while the Parliaments are in their ‘current state’ ?

    In the Ideal (British) Democracy, what should or could
    a) the various levels of The People be doing ?
    b) the various Parliamentarians be doing ? c) Other governance authorities, organisers, and administrators, be doing ?

    Incidentally, JSDM is preparing to apply the First Principle of Clarity to Lord Norton’s blog and comments “Parliament and the public”.

    The textbook I am using teaches that
    the three principles should be emphasised. “The first principle is:

    ‘Try to be clear about the point at issue’.

    “The word try is important. Sometimes it takes a great deal of thought, discussion and research to get the issues clear. Questions such as:
    ‘What is the real problem here ?’
    ‘What is the real question at issue ?’
    are very important questions.

    “Often, the clarifying of the issue is itself the way of slving the problem or arriving at the truth of the matter.
    “At the same time we have to be alert against attempts to gain impossible precision, or even precision which is not essential.” (ISBN 0 9596196 0 7; chapter 8.1).


    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      17/09/2010 at 11:03 am

      JSDM: The people comprise rather a hetereogenous collection. Some are not interested in politics. The Audit of Political Engagement found that 55% of those questioned didn’t want to be involved and were content for politicians to decide matters. Others are interested in politics, but not necessarily party politics. Many are interested in particular issues, and interest has shifted from parties to interest groups with the large rise in the number of such groups over the past fifty years. From a parliamentary perspective, the challenge is to devise different ways of making information available and of achieving a two-way flow between the institution and members of the public. The challenge is especially problematic at the institutional level as opposed to the level (in the case of the Commons) of the individual Member. Select committees are one way of achieving a dialogue with interested groups (and sometimes individuals). In the Lords, we have a challenge at both the institutional as well as the individual level, as people outside Parliament are not usually well versed on who the members are and who is interested in what policy area.

      I have focused on the challenge facing Parliament rather than saying directly what the people should be doing, as it is not for me to tell people what they should be doing. I know what I would like people to be doing – which is taking an interest in what is going on in their name and making their views (ideally their considered views) knownto parliamentarians. The dilemma is that if everyone did that, we would not have the resources to cope. So long as only a few engage, there is the problem that we do not know if those who make their views known are typical or exceptional. The ideal would certainly be to have more people being aware of what is happening in Parliamemt and at least knowing what they could do – if they wished – to make their voices heard.

      • 17/09/2010 at 11:41 am

        Others are interested in politics, but not necessarily party politics. Many are interested in particular issues, and interest has shifted from parties to interest groups with the large rise in the number of such groups over the past fifty years.


        You have to ask why this is. The answer is that joining a party still means you have no influence over an issue. We’re dictated too, and we aren’t allowed a say. See the EU referenda for a good example of two fingers being stuck up at the electorate.

        From a parliamentary perspective, the challenge is to devise different ways of making information available and of achieving a two-way flow between the institution and members of the public.

        You’re having a laugh aren’t you? You broadcast on this blog how its about establishing a dialogue. However, I’ve the email with the real purpose where it is for you to tell us what you are doing. Not for us to raise issues.

      • 18/09/2010 at 1:10 am

        Unclarified points-at-issue are accumulating so fast and out-of-hand in the Lords of the Blog postings and comments that I am ‘swamped’ by them.

        It is impossibly difficult to communicate effectively in less than 250 words,
        One could try telescopically-sniping simply one fallacious-looking part at a time; would anyone else agree ?

        Or one could briefly shine an alternative-light from an external but relevantly impinging or overlapping Source; my first draft of such instantiation is already lengthy (700 words) so let me try starting with 320 words as follows:

        Parliament’s, and governance-in-general’s, health-ergonomics look dominantly sedentary and bureaucratically-blinkered most of the time; and we their responsible sovereign ‘Employer’ and ‘dependent’ People should be seriously-concerned about all that.

        Lord Norton’s post reveals such ‘chinks’, in the Parliaments’ own health-fitness defences, by the telling words “sitting” (we know that can mean for six-hours at a stretch), “meetings”, “briefings”, office-work, “peers busy at their desks”, not Normal, “some parts inaccessible”, “like negotiating an obstacle course”: this all looks like our many really elderly and frail governance-folk having to sit ‘stewing in their own juice’ for hours on end, with only ‘obstacle courses’ and ‘bumping into each other’ as a poor substitute for planned holisticly-healthy-exercise, before they can even sit down to a meal or a tea-and-biscuits break;
        Lordy! that may well be one reason why British governance needs so much improvement, reform, and fitness-ing.
        In the light of established modern research into the human body-mind relationship, being shone in Britain by our very own Dr John Ratey M.D. (author of “A User’s Guide to the Brain”, co-author with Dr Edward Hallowell M.D. of “Answers to Distraction”, and of “Spark: the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain” with a somewhat ‘mysterious’ but skilled colleague Eric Hagerman, we may see better. From the latter:
        “We all know that exercise makes us feel better…I often tell my patients that the point of exercise is to build and condition the brain.”
        “…it’s easy to forget that we are born movers ( animals in fact ) because we’ve engineered movement right out of our lives.”
        “The sedentary character of modern life is a disruption of our nature, and it poses one of the biggest threats to our continued survival. Evidence of this is everywhere: …”
        Surely so much sedentarism, throughout our highest, most difficult, and most-essential political-governance personnel, is more biased towards sickness than to strength ?
        And we do not need sick governance nor a sick-citizenship blindly over-dependent thereon.

        (quite tiring, but continuable )

  7. 17/09/2010 at 9:23 am

    Neither the currently-being-forced-through Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Bill nor its constituionally-bastard brother the Fixed Term Parliaments Bill are going to be of any success whatsoever.

    My previous submissions have, albeit in places implicationally, shown why.

    Just to condense one or two major parts of the most important and urgent but Ignored Democratic Agenda
    .1. Britain still has no People-Upwards inclusive agenda for listing all needs & hows and their costs-affordabilities

    (governancially this should of course not include public-discussion of Britain’s Essential Nation-State Secrets;

    but it should certainly include all incomes and expenditures i.e. from top to bottom, of every taking or giving from the British Common Purse or from the British Common Lifesupports-Stock;
    should include those super-enriched all the way down to those still-in-the-ditch (((from the wealthy to the stealthy, the storeman to the poor-man, the banker to the ‘wanker’, the holy to the lowly & the lowly to the holy))) ;

    .2. Britain has a way to run both public-polling on an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily basis, on major and minor issues, and public-discussion thereto, through the internet; but is both unwilling and (arguably consequently) unable to do so.

    .3. Not only the British Education Sector but the Economic, Community, and Religious Sectors too, fail to provide a wholesome-human-development education for every level of The People.
    (In the case of the Christian Religion in Britain it either fails to, or has deliberately chosen not to, provide holistic seven-innate-sacramental-energies education to every one of its members and to All-Mankind).
    This neglected, suppressed, People-Upwards agenda is unfinished; and to be continued.

    Meanwhile, although such apparently new and genuine efforts as ‘Parliament communicating with The People’ should be majorly supported by one and all, they will remain pusillanimous and ineffective until a Majority-Britain has made the paradigm-shift and tucked all the essential micro-skills of Participatory Cooperative Democracy under It’s ‘belt’.
    (This is a draft by JSDM0923F17Sep10).

    • 17/09/2010 at 11:49 am

      Appart from the impenetrable jargon, you are on the right lines.

      Even Phillip Norton is slowly realising the failures of the system he’s a part of, and is therefore responsible for.

      Referenda by proxy is cheap. If people don’t want to be involved, they can fail to register a proxy. If they wanted they can specify a proxy of their liking, or they can vote on an issue. They aren’t forced to act against their wishes.

      Since the costs are lower, it saves money at the expense of Peers who want their expenses to be paid as a way of getting back their taxes. Tough.

      It also means people have a say on the issues.

      However, it also needs politicians to be honest about the 5 trillion of debts they have run up off the books, and what its going to take to pay that back.

      Why didn’t the Lords blow the gaff on the fraudulant accounting? Perhaps they were too busy implementing their own little scams.

      When is Pownall’s report going to be published? Just what have Lords been upto that would bring them into disrupute? The grounds for making it a state secret

    17/09/2010 at 11:26 am

    The Papal controversy is more over his Role as Pope than the cost. Lets face reality there has been for far too long an Anti-Christian movement afoot. Its generally billed as Anti-Religious but most other religions are immune, and the so-called nonreligious seem to have a shared philosophical outlook that is only nonreligious by virtue of their Atheism, which means there is no logical reason to see them as Nonreligious as Theism is not really what defines Religion.

    The cost is a Smokescreen, people want to hate the Catholic Church in particular and Christianity generally. Many no longer can even offer reasons beyond vague claims of it being controlling or false or dangerous, all picked up from cultural osmosis.

    I think its about Time we actually addressed that as all other forms of hate have been pretty well attacked tot he point that mild disagreement is criminal in some cases.

    Yet we allow “Two Million in Scotland are Good without God” billboards for a papal visit which are obviously there as an attack?

    I think its Time we recognised that Christianity has suffered from bad Publicity and not all of it warranted. While I understand the Sex Abuse scandal, a lot of the Anti-Christian claims are certainly not aimed only at Catholicism, and all have been around much longer, with this used more as a vehicle to justify a current outrage.

    • Frank W. Summers III
      17/09/2010 at 4:16 pm


      Unless the remaining russo-centric Slavic powewers and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (maybe a bit off onthe name of this understudied but real group there) can give NATO a good Cold War that can scare the daylights out of all of us all the time (however stiff our upper lips may be)then we will need a Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury who are good old fashioned warrior knighting. crusade preaching clerics. I am aware that this is black comedy but I am also serious. It is intolerable to rear or educate children in a West where the only protected religious feelings are Islamic. Moslems know how to get heard — nobody likes to be beheaded on a webcam in front of their kids… quite unpleasant.

    17/09/2010 at 7:58 pm

    I disagree, Frank Summers, for I know a Religious group that has a lot of respect and whose feelings are considered, who aren’t Islamic. Jews. They don’t behead people on webcams, they just shout bloody murder every time anyone says the slightest thing that they can even remotely see as Anti-Semitic, and use the instrument of the courts to sue the object of their outrage if he’s crossed too many lines.

    While I partially agree with your point, I think it doesn’t quiet take killing artists in the street. Besides, theres more at work than Islamic terror, Muslims are also respected to shoe “Tolerance and diversity”. As inconsistent as it is, Christianity is seen as “The enemy” by the progressive element, whilst Islam is a persecuted Minority. If you think logically about it, something they claim, you see it as daft nonsense, but hey aren’t thinking logically. We’ve been told by this same progressive element that Christianity is the root of all evils in our society for the last 200 years, and by cultural osmosis we see all of the negative sterotypes of Christians and Christianity and the instinctual distrust o the Church as an institution become ingrained. Islam never was attacked like that by Voltaire or Paine or Ropespheire. Heck, 90% of all he Anti-Religion arguments you hear from the New Atheism are against Christianity because they are recycled from the 18th and 19th Century.

    as Christianity is already the “Accept” bad guy and is common knowledge,the attacks on it are permitted. In the same way Jews suffered before WW2 but now he ANti-Defamation leagues and will sue at the Drop of a hat. I think eventually the same thing will happen with Christianity, though we do need an Archbishop of Canterbury who will stand up to this sort of abuse. Rowan Williams is a Brilliant Scholar and I have nothign burt respect for the man, but he is not going to stand up to the abuse as much as he should, and has no real capability of rallying others to the Faith. The Irony is, the reason he can’t rally people to the Faith is because he’s too intellectual. One complaint the “Not religious” have against Christianity is how its not an intellectual thing at all, its followed by Blind Faith ( and to them all faith is blind faith as they mis define the term)but in reality a good deal of Christendom is abotu deep reflection on the matters of the Universe, and on Human Nature, and Dr. Williams is certainly capable of hat. But he’s not really goign to attract a broad audience. Those two things, his unwillignness to stand up for his Faith, and his general innaccessabiliy, harm the cause.

    More in a moment.

    • Frank W. Summers III
      18/09/2010 at 1:05 pm

      While the best dictionaries offer a shorter definition of irony and sarcasm than I adopt I was writing in that kind of ironic humor which attempts to show some real if ugly truth in the apparent meaning while the main Truth is in the opposite ironic meaning. Christianity is more tolerant and diverse in its nature than Islam — fullstop. In practice that is not always true. However, the Anglican and Catholic rituals of this week are more beautiful than having the IRA behead the Scots atheists would be and perhaps almost as compelling.

      As for Jews, I have a somewhat different view than most. I think when a lot of screaming goes on there are often some provocateurs around and if I am there I can often find them. Quite often they are lovely tall educated horned devils from the frozen North, Islamic infiltrators billing themselves as Semites or others for whom the world has less prejudice. Jews have barely one country while Islam has half a hundred and more. Jews act largely from survival motives. Muslims largely embrace world Conquest. Then there is the issue that Muslims and Christians all owe Jews and the Hebrews so vast a debt it cannot be calculated and Christians owe Muslims as Muslims as close to nothing as one can get.
      There was a Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in my lifetime in this country who was being questioned by the press about a policy package for reservation development. He was asked if it was not too much. He was a very white Euro-American with a hard kind of edge and he gave a very sincere smile and said in a way which silenced the entire group: “I do not think America is anywhere near doing enough for the Indians.” I feel that way about the Hebrew people.
      I know the Magna Carta discriminates against Jews but it also acknowledges their ethnic existence, their right to live in the realm and their right to do business and be paid even if in discriminatory ways. That does not bother me much. But I would have no difficulty saying Christians today are much poorer than that King and Parliament were — we owe more and are paying less on it.I have link to my own thoughts on this here:
      I believe whatever violence I can do to antisemites is a good thing. Sadly it has been little. I put in a word of admission that I know some Europeans would consider me Jewish, but they are idiots. However, I do have ties by blood to the Hebrews and am largely by heritage part of a somewhat related people though not classed as Semites normally. Doubtless this influences my thoughts but not so much for I take interest in other forms of ethnic justice and am not known to my few Jewish friends as an easy or pandering Judeophile at all, not at all.

  10. ZAROVE
    17/09/2010 at 8:08 pm

    it is a regrettable truth about Christianity in America that the vast majority who claim to be committed to Christianity have no idea what the Faith actually teaches beyond general morality and God exists and Jesus came to save us. The most popular preachers are those who, like Rick Warren, appeal to the mass markets, try to “Break Stereotypes” by wearing loose fitting causal clothing, and who don’t even try to deal in Theology and instead offer us pop religion, anecdotes, and an easy going feel good style of teaching that ultimately lacks substance. While this is not True o all Preacher sin America who have been successful, its true of too many, just as too many try to merge Americanism with the Faith to a great deal so that a lot of American Conservatives think that to be a Good Christian one must be a Good Patriot and agree with Americans Godly Founding Fathers.

    While I’d not want an Archbishop to be as Shallow as a Joel Osteen or a Rick Warren, I do think the Popular Appeal is needed and there is a good need for one who can draw out the masses and, at the same time, teach sound but accessible Christianity. Combine that with someone willing to stand on Principle against the encroachments of modern Humanism for the rights of other religious besides those of the Atheists, and I think the tide can be turned without beheadings.

    But then, I’d also let the Church pick its own Bishops, but am very very Antidisestablishmentarian about it. The Church should remain established and the Bishops in the Lords, but should simply pick its own Bishops to fill the ranks.

  11. ZAROVE
    18/09/2010 at 8:56 pm

    Mr. Summers, I am far more ambivalent than you regarding these matters, for I see them all as a diverse lot. Not all Muslims are out for World Conquest, nor do all hate the Jews. In fact, I read a news article recently in which a Mosque was built right across the Street from a Baptist Church and next door to a Synagogue, and the Synagogue has agreed to let the Mosque use its parking lot so they can get zoning, so you have a Mosque and a Synagogue who share a Parking Lot and he Baptist Church has itself welcomed the Muslims and agreed to help them in any additional Zoning needs. So you have Christians, Jews, and Muslims all working together and worshipping in close proximity without incident. I should also note that I know several Jews, some are friends of mine, others not. I once had the displeasure of an Email exchange with a Jewish woman who spent her time discovering the “Real origins of the Christian Church”, and then trying to convince me that Paul was the real founder of Christianity, and he had based it on Pagan Mystery Religions, all of which had dying and rising saviours who were born of virgins on December 25th. She claimed Christianity had no relationship at all with Judaism and was fully pagan in origin, but also claimed to “respect Christianity and think it has a lot to offer, its just not for us, the Jews”. She also claimed that Jesus was a Torah Observant Jew who would not have approved of what Christianity teaches. She also wanted me and all other Christians to know the Truth of our Religion. Never mind that if I accepted that Paul was the real founder and that Jesus opposed Christianity and it was fully Pagan I’d by necessity have to give it up, she was oblivious to just how Central Jesus was to Christianity. Then again, to accept that its not related to Judaism I’d have to ignore the Real Founder, Paul, also being a Jew and the numerous parts f Christian Theology which make no sense without a Jewish context.

    I’ve met other Anti-Missionary Jews who were far more hostile.

    So, being a Jew means nothing to me. Some are good, and some are not. Being a Muslim likewise means nothing to me, some are good, and some are not. The same applies to Christians, some are good, and others are not. Even Atheists have the same, some are good, and others are not.

    I’ll complete this momentarily.

  12. ZAROVE
    18/09/2010 at 9:31 pm

    Now to continue from above…

    The real problem I have today is the hypocrisy of the double standard. The reason the Papal visit is being opposed is not rally the cost. If President Barrack Obama wanted to visit, it’d cost much thee same but no one would complain. No one would complain if the president of China came over with such expenses, either. Or the President of Cuba, Raul Castro. In fact, many who are angry with the Papal Visit would welcome them with open arms. Its only because he is the Pope and thus the head of the Catholic Church that this is a problem.

    The Anti-Religious arguments you hear from Atheists like Dawkins or Hitchens are not really new, hey have been around for a long time and are really a revival of old 18th and 19th Century arguments, as I said. The difference is, after 200 years of Enlightenment-era philosophy, gradually being accepted first by the Intellegencia, and hen trickling down to the media and middle class, to finally the whole society, our culture has developed a strongly Anti-Christian bias. This is because Christianity was really the only Religion attacked by the Enlightenment Era philosophers, and the 19th Century Humanists.

    Our culture is rooted in its Religion. All Culture is, and you really can’t have a Culture that isn’t derived from Religion. Despite claiming to be nonreligious, our modern Secular society is still rooted in a religion regardless. That’s because, as I’ve said many times only to be ignored as insane, all Religion is when you look at it is a set of beliefs that determines how you understand the Nature of existence and its meaning and causes. It is not belief in gods, nor does it require gods. It does not require belief in the Supernatural. It nee not hinge on being unproven, or believe din without evidence. Its really just the Philosophical framework that we use to understand our place in the world and how the world is suppose to work, and acts to supply the Narrative that we use to understand the things we see in our lives.

    Humanists, who insist they aren’t Religious, really are Religious. But they hate Religion and want to present themselves as the Alternative to Religion. The Narrative they operate from its that if you aren’t Religious you will share all of their beliefs about the nature cause and purpose of existence, and the moral and ethical values they build from this. Never mind that being an Atheist doesn’t automatically make you a Humanist, they want to present the idea that it does. In this way, they have been successful. Our culture has accepted that there should be a separation of Church and Sate, and the humanist Philosophers have then stated that this should be interrupted to mean that no Religious thinking whatsoever should be allowed in making our laws or building our society. But, what’s he Alternative? Humanism, of course. OS all of our laws now are built from a Humanist perspective, because that’s the only way to make sure its not Religious.

    The word Religion itself has been given a very negative connotation, and this can be seen any time someone says that Religion is about accepting whatever Authority tells you, whilst being nonreligious is about being a Freethinker. The assumption is that if you aren’t Religious you think for yourself but Religious people just go to Church and listen to their minister and do whatever he says. Its Balderdash of course, but its how the matter is presented. Then they claim Religion causes all or most of the worlds wars, divides people, and causes strife.

    The slogans and Truisms that we hear frequently really aren’t questioned. Everyone knows that Religion divides Society and is a Threat to Social Cohesion, because if there are people of two different religions then they just cant get on. Se need a Secular society in order for them to be able to cooperate beaus Secularism is neutral. Never mind that the Secularist has his own Philosophy that is often at odds with the two supposedly irreconcilable religions, the Secular position is base don Reason, not Faith. We know that Religion is not Rational, and is AntiSceince, and causes people to hate on another because just because. We know Secularists are tolerant because gosh, they have nothing to fight for, for they have no beliefs. Yet they still try to tell us how to live based on their nonreligious faith and have a lot of rules for the people who reject Authority. Just as we know the Religious are Hypocrites.

  13. ZAROVE
    18/09/2010 at 9:32 pm

    For the same 200 years we have seen endless attacks on the Church. The Christian Church was creatures to control people. Its Bishops were only there to gain power over the masses. The Church has hidden secrets that could destroy its doctrines simply because it wants power to be continued. The Church lies and destroys lives all so that it can get you to stop thinking or looking for the Truth, all in the name of its continued Power. The Church is thus a sinister force of evil.

    This is reflected well in “His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman, or “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, both of which became best sellers as they fed into this prejudiced view of the Church as a source of evil and control that hides the Truth about things. We all know that the Church can’t be Trusted.

    This has lead to a Knee Jerk reaction against Christianity, that is fuelled by continued attacks. People just know they aren’t suppose to Truth the Church and that there’s something wrong with it.

    Besides, look at all the evil the Christian Church has done over the Centuries. The Crusades, the Inquisition, Witch Trials, Galileo… Never mind that most who know about all these bad things in History know nothing at all about the actual events, but only that the Eeeeeeeeevil Christian Church is behind them and they were bad. No need to know the details, they were just bad and Christianity is to blame. Christianity killed the Roman Empire and gave us the Dark Ages, in which Science and learning came to a Standstill and no one had their human Rights. They also slaughtered all Pagans who refused to convert to Christianity. Then they went south to slaughter innocent Muslims. Te Inquisition killed loads of Pagan women called witches.

    The fact that the above is muddled and highly erroneous History makes no difference, it is the Popular image of the Christian Church and her History, and that’s what people see.

    To this end they are distrustful of Christianity, and see it as a Power Hungry Religion trying to dominate society that would erect a Theocracy in which only Christians had rights and in which everyone suffered.
    At the very least its an outdated and silly belief system that’s been proven wrong by Science and should be out in its place.

    But when it comes to Islam, its another matter. Islam is a Religion, but part of the modern Liberal Trend in society is to claim Tolerance and Diversity. So they perceive Islam as something they have to embrace. None of the Anti-Religion arguments over the last 200 years are specifically geared toward Islam. And, Islam is a Rival to Christianity, and the popular view of it is that Christians are against the Muslims, so they have to be for it.

    As I said, it’s not genuine Logic. The Rationalist don’t have to be rational, they are Rational by definition.

    They see Islam as something that needs to be supported and encouraged because evil Bigoted Christians threaten it and they want to promote Tolerance and Diversity.

    They simply ignore the fact that, even if he above History of Christianity were True that Christians today really aren’t that much into crusades, and few if any want to go about destroying other peoples rights. They don’t bother with learning what the Real History is and instead hold people alive today for the supposed Crimes of their ancestors from 400 years ago, and to them this makes sense.

    Just as it makes sense to criticise Christian teachings which they didn’t take the time to understand, only to encourage Islam which has many of the same teachings. Its because they are selective in what they see. They condemn Christianity for Homophobia, only to embrace Islam which isn’t tolerant of Homosexuality either. They bash Christianity for its stand on women’s rights in a time when the majority of Protestant Churches have women ministers and in which women are taught to be equal to men by almost all Christian Churches, only to praise Islam in which women have far fewer rights in most of its forms. They condemn Christianity for its Pro Life stand and ignore Islam’s pro Life stand.

    This is simply because they have an emotional need to attack Christendom, based upon a Cultural Bias. This Cultural Bias allows them to embrace one of Christianity’s enemies, Islam. (No I don’t think Muslims and Christians are actually enemies, this is about perception.)

    It also allows them to have an object for their benevolence to prove that its real. They boast of tolerance and diversity, and need something to attach that too, and Christians obviously won’t do as they are the bad guys who need to be opposed, so Muslims fit the bill perfectly.

    As for Jews, as I said it became unfashionable to condemn them after World War 2. Now to do so is to connect yourself with the NAZI’s and Hitler, and no one likes that as Hitler is the personification of evil in our Culture, and the NAZI’s the ultimate epitome of an evil Ideology.

    Its more about the emotional reaction these words and ideas generate than Truth, and the advertising for modern Atheism and Liberalism has won he e day because of this, not because reason triumphed.

    • 19/09/2010 at 4:55 pm

      The power behind NAZIsm is still very much alive and is ancient and can never forgive (if it did such things) the Jews for bringing the Ten Commandments into the world. They hate Jews most and probably me next but they hate you too, JSDM and even Lord Norton. However NAZIsm for all its vastness was just the shirt they were wearing that day. I do not mean the semi-literate motorcycle riding skinheads or entirely divorced from this reality but they are regarded only as useful idiots by the power that is as old as my own heritage which is itself older than almost anyone in the UK believes anything human and cultural is…

  14. Frank W. Summers III
    19/09/2010 at 3:44 am

    I have decided to take each letter in your e-mail on its own terms. Sometimes I award the e the value usually associated with e and sometimes the Spanish value but also sometimes see it as a modified sigma or a functional epsilon. I do the same thing with each letter. At this rate I should have read your e-mail by 2024 if I budget some time and can hire a committee for more difficult cases. I don’t want to shove the letters into horrible little jobs they no longer want. It was quicker but very insensitive. Please note the dates so I can reach you at that time. I will still respond to other posts in the normal way. It is only this one which will receive the ultra-fairness treatment for now.

  15. ZAROVE
    20/09/2010 at 12:56 pm

    I write for a living, so I sometimes like to express ideas fully.

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