We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

When religions stray off the reservation…

If religious leaders get the urge to spout off on religious topics to the religiously inclined, well I suppose that is what they are for. But why oh why does the Church of England think it is appropriate for them to have any corporate opinion at all on purely secular matters like advertising?

Why should a bunch of clerics think they have any business demanding the state regulate the media? Exactly what biblical basis do they have for supporting the imposition of restrictions on what people do on TV? I must have missed the passage in the New Testament where it says “The Lord says tell Caesar to threaten those who sayth things you don’t approve of”.

I have zero tolerance for a state privileged organization who claim to speak from a position of moral superiority advocating force backed restrictions on secular life. The sooner the Church of England is disestablished the better.

14 comments to When religions stray off the reservation…

  • Honestly, why would any pronouncements out of the CoE or the “hairy lefty” surprise or dismay us anymore? I’d believe we should just ignore them, but then they are, as you mention, “state privileged” and so do NOT deserve the full right to say whatever pops into their hirsute heads.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Well, the ancient argument between faith and good works takes on a new look when ‘good works’ are the province of the government. That said, I suspect it’s mostly because these guys (like the rest of us) like to hear themselves talk.

  • Mike Lorrey

    The false assumption is that the CoE has anything to say about religion either…

  • John B

    Indeed, the church has no real call to have an opinion on this.
    If it did it might be more constructive to talk about the blurring of the line between objective factual reporting and the (mainly collectivist) opinionating that seems to have taken over most MSM, including BBC.
    That is a serious blurr/deception with serious consequences for the sanity of the nation.

  • Paul Marks

    It is all part of the “liberal” Christian desire to “make religion relevant”.

    Of course if religion was true it would be more “relevant” than anything else that exists – but “liberal” Christians have neither real religious faith or honest athiesm. Instead they seek to create “relevant” religion – reinterpreted so that “God” means “the people” or “society” (in a collectivist sense – not in the sense of the web of voluntary interactions that make up Civil Society) and so on.

    All rather depressing.

  • Laird

    Banning product placements somehow maintains “editorial balance”? In purely entertainment programs? WTF? Do these people even read what they are writing?

    Of course, the fact that you even have something called a “Culture Secretary”, and that he has the authority to impose such a ban, probably says all anyone needs to know.

  • If the CofE was a real organisation, then its directors would now be under pressure from their Accountants to make some sort of declaration or other.

    Coterminally, Paul Johnson did predict, about 12-13 years ago in the Spectator before it retreated behind a Paywall, that this Church would disappear functionally about now, or in five years or so from now, in a miasma of pre-capitalist-neo-pastoralist shamanisms and barbarism. He is a little behind time, but things are moving in the right direction for it to do so.

    By allowing itself to be infiltrated by GramscoFabiaNazis (you can all understand what these are, even if I have been criticised in public for using the word) it has ensured its destruction. The abolishment of Old English Liberal Institutions is a main objective, a necessary but insufficient one on its own, of GFNs.

  • veryretired

    I know little about the reverend in question, but it is not unusual for christian authorities to make assorted harrumphing noises about “commercialism” or “materialism” from time to time.

    John Paul 2, whom I admired for his steadfast opposition to marxism, made similar tut-tuts about the commercialism rampant in the west, although I don’t recall any suggestions of making things illegal.

    The congruence of the story lines favored by the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle come together most snugly in their disdain for the mundane concerns the ordinary person has about making a living, having some nice things in his or her life, and, in general, experiencing some of the pleasures and pleasentries of life in this world on a personal level.

    The theorists of religion are concerned with the sacrifices and denials required in this life to achieve rewards in the next. The theorists of the political are concerned with the sacrifices and denials required of this generation for the achievement of utopia in the next.

    Both groups despair when the members of the flock, or the party, seem more concerned with the pleasures possible in the here and now rather than the misty, ephemeral future fulfillments to be experienced when union is achieved with either god or the collective.

    For centuries, we have listened to the moral teachings of those whose primary focus is something other than the daily requirements of life on this earth.

    One group demands we deny ourselves the pleasures of this life for the bliss of eternity. The other demands we deny the personal for the sake of the political.

    “The personal life is dead in Russia for a man with any manhood.”

    When the time comes that enough people realize that life is to be lived as fully as possible, not denied, not sacrificed, not condemned, then the lectures of those whose vision is focussed on the unearthly, and the demands of those whose personal lives are dead, will be relegated to the margins where they belong, and the earth will finally, mercifully, joyfully, belong to those of us who only wish to live our lives in peace, as we see fit.

    Some envision heaven, some utopia—I dream of teaching my grandson how to play catch, watching his first t-ball game, just living through all the laughter and tears that makes life feel like life.

    I don’t know what happens after we die. I just know that a life not lived is worse than death.

  • John B

    Regarding the utterances of those who are in effect political appointees to controlling positions in what is supposed to be an organisation dealing with matters eternal – the eternal Kingdom of God, and related problems.
    The situation is surely very simple and one cannot do better than quote the manual.

    Isaiah the prophet in:

    Isaiah 29

    13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

    14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

    And the Lord Jesus in:

    John 5

    41 I receive not honour from men.

    42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

    43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

    44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

  • So many things! firstly, it’s the state privilege that irks me. I have no problem with sky-god fan club managers pronouncing on any subject they wish, it is our job to shout them down. However, the fact that the state may listen (and the existence of a state not only prepared to listen but with the wherewithal to do something about it) is a problem.
    Secondly, if god were to exist then it strikes me that it would indeed be hidden in the voluntary connections between individuals as Paul Marks says, rather than some big beard in the sky. Indeed, if the Singularity ever happens,then that is precisely what the new machine god will be made of! quite what reverend williams will say on that morning I’m not sure…

  • Paul Marks

    There is a big difference between saying an ad lacks taste (or even saying it appeals to base greed) and saying the ad should be banned.

    He who seeks to turn non criminal sins (i.e. actions that violate no one) into crimes does not understand that moral development must be a voluntary process – in order to exist at all.

    Just as a forced conversion is no conversion, being forceably castrated does NOT mean that one has adopted the virtue of chastity.

    Sadly (as so often) Rowen Williams is lost in the shadows.

  • Douglas

    Well, doesn’t the CoE have a right to take part in the market as it exists?

    Is it the CoE that is the aggressor? or the English regulators most at fault here?

    The fact is, the opponent defines the rules of war, no matter what you believe about enlightenment.

    Maybe CoE is responding to the Muslims who get to walk all over what passes for liberty, Maybe the CoE is responding to the deliberate biases against itself as imposed by the Clergy of parliament.

    I don’t know the nuts and bolts, but perhaps the CoE is just engaging in the Market as defined by the culture that controls that market.

  • Market? Muslims? What are you talking about? The C of E are lobbying for retaining current high levels of state control over the media.

  • Don’t bother listening to the Archdruid, guys. He never made any sense and nobody’s expecting him to.

    Besides, you can’t just say he speaks for the CoE; not in the sense that the Pope speaks for the Latin and Eastern Rites of the “Catholic Church”. Anglican organisational structures are somewhat less regimented than that. I mean, other Anglicans in the Communion don’t even listen to him, so why should the British State (or the British) be obliged?

    Also, the CoE is not the UK’s state religion and hasn’t been since the 60s from what I can tell. No, that would be Islam, and I defy anyone to prove otherwise. Heck, it’s worse than it is in Malaysia, and that’s saying something.