Yesterday, the Church of England Newspaper had 2 very good pieces on the panel chaired by the balloon-bearing Bishop of Oxford and their report on Countering Terrorism. One is an editorial, Tackling the Terrorists and the is other an article, Iraqi Christians Fear Fall-out From House Of Bishops Report On Terror. Both are well worth a close read.
Here are some key points from the editorial;
"It [the bishops' report] is an interesting piece of political opinion, probably designed to promote discussion by administering a few sharp prods to the reader."
"The House of Bishops can no longer, by any stretch of the imagination, be deemed the Tory Party at prayer: this report hits out at Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, the American religious right, colonialism, evangelicals and the state of Israel. The bishops worry about the failure of democratic principals to take root in the Middle East, but dislike Israel, the one democracy in the region, following the kind of logic developed by Edward's Said's famous book, Orientalism. The Anglican Consultative Council's recent decision to question investment in Israel fits in with this trend dubbed 'the dark age of Anglicanism' by the Jewish commentator Melanie Phillips..."
These two quotes above demonstrate that the for the bishops, the report on Countering Terrorism is really just same old, same old. For years, Anglican (and Episcopalian) priests and bishops, out of a strong desire to 'challenge their congregations out of their comfort zones' have been proclaiming what is nothing more than an assortment of opinions from whackos as theological scholarship on everything topic from the Book of Genesis to the Virgin Birth. The result has been not only a watering down of Orthodox Christian belief [the belief that needed all that is needed to get to Heaven was contained in the Scriptures by the end of the Apostolic age]. But they have also managed to undermined the teachings and traditions of their own institution, the C of E, thereby losing their most-needed and respectable role in society. Now the Bishops have decided to turn their turrets on the Middle East and employ the same approach. Nevermind that it's at a time their country is at war in the Middle East and there are 54 mudered British souls mouldering in their graves. The reason those 54 souls were murdered was because they were not Muslim and therefore, deserved it. No time like the present for the bishops to get down on their knees and start the apologizing to all the offended Muslims.
Thankfully, the bishops' ideas are not flying as the article points out;
"A REPORT by senior bishops on 'terrorism' which suggests and apology for the war in Iraq, has been attacked by the Church of England's leading expert on Iraq, Canon Andrew White. Canon White, leader of the only Anglican church in Baghdad, said the Bishops' report could have adverse consequences for Christians in the country. "They've got to take seriuosly the Anglican churches in these nations. No one has even contacted Bishop Clive Handford, the Bishop over Iraq. The situation is dangerous on the ground and what is said in the UK has a profound effect."
"Bishop Richard Harries [the balloon-bearinging Bishop of Oxford] defended his controversial report. "It is a very substantial report. The main thrust of it is what are the most effective ways of countering terrorism and we deal with the creative role the church might play in it. On the question of a meeting between Muslim and Christian leaders what we had in mind was a long way down the line when the situation was stable to contribute to the healing of memories.
"On Canon White's criticism, he said that he [the balloon-bearing Bishop of Oxford] had refused to go on the Middle East television station al-Jazeera to avoid stiring controversy..."
With this proposal of an apology, thebishops have not put the fear of God into fellow Anglicans but the fear of reprisals from Islamofascists. Now that's an accomplishment. It's a good thing the Bishop of Oxford heeded his colleague's critcism and decided against appearing on al-Jazeera TV to discuss apologizing and his basic anti-West attitude. Who knows how many deaths he might have caused. Newsweek caused 17 earlier this summer.
There is a lesson here for those that want to learn it. Words mean things. Just because you've got the right to say something doesn't mean you should say it. As Canon Andrew White said, "The situation is dangerous on the ground and what is said in the UK [ or the US for that matter] has a profound effect." The bishops are being careless and irresponsible. They didn't even consult with their colleagues in the Middle East. The only difference between what the bishops are doing to Christians in the Middle East today from what they've done to Christians in the past, is physical. They are threatening the physical well-being of Middle-Eastern Christians. For years they've just been content to threaten the spiritual well-being of all Christians.
Here is The Independent's 'world-renowned Middle East correspondent' Robert Fisk's piece, We Have Long Ago Lost Our Moral Compass, So How Can We Lecture The Islamic World?. You have 2 choices; you can pay for the Independent for it. Or google up his name and the title and find it for free on the InformationClearingHouse website.