Sunday Stuff 17/06/12

Round-up of interesting and thought-provoking articles and tweets. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Prejudice by Digitalnun on iBenedictines

None of us is free from prejudice, but…. what is the point at which opinion becomes prejudice? As a Christian, I believe that there is only one mediator between God and ourselves, the Lord Jesus Christ. For me, there can be no watering down of that; no casual accommodation to other beliefs and creeds. But I have no difficulty in honouring the truth I find in other religions — not in a wishy-washy, we all believe the same kind of way, but with wonder and gladness that I can learn something about God I might not otherwise have the opportunity to do.

Please, Mr Cameron, stop your government from blaming the poor for poverty…on The World Inside my Head by Anna Drew linking to a statement from the Methodist Church

What does a government do when it’s failing on poverty issues? Move the goal posts…

The jubilee jobseekers show modern Britain at its worst by Zoe Williams for The Guardian

The audacity of these contractors makes me want to laugh, but what is paralysingly unfunny is how much larger this is than two organisations; how much desperation there is that people would do this job for nothing; how much sheer unfairness there is in society recasting the cost of training as something to be borne by the person starting out; how much inhumanity there is in abasing the unemployed.

I’m so enjoying finding out about New Monasticism as part of my studies, particularly my latest module in Missiology. Here is a great video from Fresh Expressions

Oh and I got an article printed this week!  One Can Trust foodbank celebrates its 1st birthday with a grant from Buckinghamshire Community Foundation

Tweets of the Week:

@EugeneCho : Don’t tell us what you’re against. Show us something different. Compel us. Create a better story. Invite us into that story.

@Welshtabby (Jayne Smalley): You can tell much about a woman from her hands. For instance, if they are around your throat she is probably slightly upset.

@RichardFWatson:  Dear World. “The Church of England says….” & “The Bible says….” are unrealistic beginnings to any sentence. Please do not trust them.

@markbailey_: “The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale

@maggidawn: RT “@PastorMark an enemy stabs you in the back, a friend stabs you in the front.” < U need new friends. Mine have my back & don’t stab me.

@drbexl (Dr Bex Lewis ‏): “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.”  Corrie Ten Boom

@wilsonhartgrove (J Wilson-Hartgrove ‏) : God is not a means by which we can achieve our ideals; other people don’t want to be a means either.

And yes, a few bits and bobs on the whole gay marriage debate:

I haven’t signed petitions, I didn’t get consulted on the CofE statement and nothing said so far has been said in my name. Only I can speak in my name (and the side of the fence I sit on is pretty obvious from the choices of tweets and articles below.)  I do know that an awful lot of what I’ve read coming ‘officially’ from the Church or England makes me uncomfortable and indeed, some things have made me very angry. I have so much love and respect for so much of the CofE and belong to a church in it. We do not get everything right, we don’t always love like we should, but I can’t think of one person I know in my particular branch of the church who isn’t trying to figure out how to. I’m intrigued as to how all of this will affect the relationship between Church and State, but I hope the relationships between those this has hurt and those who have inadvertently or otherwise, been responsible for that hurt, will be rapidly and completely healed.

@KateBielby : Christian gay marriage is threatening to Christianity. Straight atheist marriage is fine. No, you’re going to have to explain this again.

@martinsaunders: CofE tweets make depressing reading. People think we’re bigoted, irrelevant, graceless morons

@IsabelOakeshott : If the PM is so keen on institution of marriage, perhaps he should focus on propping up the heterosexual variety, which affects far more people

A rather angry (as goes the title) but well balanced piece in the Guardian from Nick Cohen:  A church fit only for bigots and hypocrites

The church’s complaint that civil gay marriage may, despite the government’s assurances to the contrary, lead to the European Court of Human Rights forcing it to marry homosexuals at some unspecified point struck me as fanciful and neurotic. But when church sources tried to scare the government into submission by raising the prospect of disestablishment, they spoke truer than they knew. England accepts the emancipation of women. England is on it way to accepting the emancipation of homosexuals. The Church of England cannot stand against the settled will of England and expect to remain the national church.

Not in My Name on Bishop Tim Ellis’ blog

For, in truth, the bishops in the media have not spoken for me or the way in which I understand this thorny matter and, I suspect, they do not speak for a sizeable minority or even majority with the life of the Church. However, it is possible that I will soon be approached by the local media to defend the position taken up by my colleagues and the pressure will be on to ‘toe the line’.

The issue is therefore, for me, one of freedom.

The Church of England says it is against gay marriage. Not in my name | Giles Fraser

And finally there is the absurd hyperbole of the thing. “The greatest threat to the church in 500 years.” Do us a favour. Worse than the dissolution of the monasteries? Worse than secularisation? It is telling evidence of the irrational fear that the church leadership has of gay people that they are prepared to make such ridiculous statements.

And an amusing look at it all from a very different angle: Church considers ban on marriage of ugly people!

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