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Source: (consider it) Thread: Paris attacks
Boogie

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# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Truman White:
As a matter of interest, does the Qu'ran have anything equivalent to "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you?"

Good and evil [conduct] are not equal. Repel [evil] with what is best. [If you do so,] behold, he between whom and you was enmity, will be as though he were a sympathetic friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the greatly endowed. (Surah 41:34-35)

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Komensky
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Sorry to have to raise this again but - most Muslims are decent people in the sense that most 'Constantinian' Christians are decent people; their decency is undermined by a belief in the possibility of a 'religious state', Muslim or Christian as the case may be, which they think can justify warfare, persecution etc.


I would disagree. In both the USA and (to a lesser extent) the UK, a large number of evangelicals want exactly that. At HTB, for example, Nicky Gumbell regularly prayed to the Creator of the Universe for more Christians in office. This was a direct offshoot of their mishmash of Dominion and Kingdom Theology (set ablaze in part by Graham Tomlin's fervent Kingdom Theology—but it was there long before him). Moreover, events were organised at HTB whereby Christian MPs were invited to HTB in order to express their plans and ideas, and to try to create Christian unity across political parties so that God's voice is heard in Parliament. Imagine, for a moment, that an Imam in London or Birmingham was regularly calling publicly and in prayer for more Muslims in public office and Parliament. He called out to Allah to undermine the acts of elected officials so that his will as expressed in the Quran would be realised, for everyone's benefit! The same imam then invites Muslim public officials to his mosque, where they seek, despite some political differences, to find unity of purpose to increase the number of muslims in office and to increase the influence of the Quran in UK public life. How would you react? That is the reality, from my experience, of large swathes of UK evangelicals. American evangelicals are less subtle than that.

A local C of E evangelical church here Canterbury regularly prays for the same thing—calling on God to intervene directly in matters of government (I haven't been there in several years, so it might have changed since then). On more than one occasion, God was beseeched to change a law directly, though magic. A large number of evangelicals want exactly what ISIS wants, they just have the wrong god. I'll be the first to say that beyond this goal, there is very little to compare. The evangelicals very, very rarely call for violence. If we have to live in a theocracy, I'd choose the Christian one.
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

Problem is that whereas Christianity emphatically does not teach the idea of a 'religious state/kingdom of this world' for Jesus, and therefore those who follow that tack are bad and disobedient Christians, however well-meaning, in Islam the idea of the 'religious state' is built in from square one in both the actions of Muhammad and the teaching of the Quran. IS are likely going to lengths that would worry Muhammad - but he sowed the wind to which they are the whirlwind. Suras 8 and 9 of the Quran are really problematic in this respect - even on a 'moderate' interpretation they assume the idea of an Islamic state and teach war on behalf of Islam and persecution/discrimination by the Islamic state against both pagans and 'people of the Book'.

You're probably not wrong about this. The vast majority of Christians and Jews either no longer believe, or they have ascribed some other meaning to, the demands for killing in the Bible (particularly in the OT). The most violent forms of Christianity are more or less under control, the most violent forms of Islam are not. The Bible may call for the use of sex slaves and the killing of non-believers and the killing of women who turn out not to be virgins on their wedding nights, and on and on—but I'm not aware of anyone acting on that insane advice.

K.

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mr cheesy
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You know, I was about to post that SL finally had a point that was worth discussing, then I saw the error of my ways.

I guess the man with a teaspoon cracking everything in sight will eventually hit an egg.

[ 17. November 2015, 09:57: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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la vie en rouge
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NP alluded to something that I want to bring up that nobody seemed to have mentioned yet. It’s the role of the media in making this the worst tragedy EVAR. Yesterday I was kind of bemused to get messages on my work email from people I have never met and wouldn’t know from Adam telling me how heartbroken they are for me. There’s something a bit bizarre and mawkish about it.

You know what, we’re mostly actually doing ok. I mean, the atmosphere in the office was a bit grim yesterday, but we’re not all sitting around crying our eyes out. We went downstairs and observed the minute’s silence at midday and felt sad because people got killed and some of us went through some horrible experiences, but otherwise we mostly spent the day quietly getting some work done and kind of getting on with our lives. Some of the people sending us consolation messages seem way more disturbed and upset about it than we are, TBH. Maybe it’s just me, but I think there is a bit of a Princess Diana effect cathartic outpouring of grief going on for some people.

As a British person, I have seen my fair share of terrorist incidents. I’m quite resilient on the whole because I can’t ever remember a time growing up when my country wasn’t getting blown up. The big difference that I saw on Friday night was that it’s now possible to follow all the horror blow by blow in real time. We got the metro home with a Canadian friend. It took us a bit out of the way but it would have been unkind to let him go home by himself. It was the first time he’d ever seen an event of this kind first hand and he was very freaked out. However, I think he would have been far less panicked if his smartphone hadn’t been beeping every thirty seconds with news alerts convincing him he was about to die. Equally, we realised later that the reason we were getting so many “please tell me you’re ok, I’m so desperately worried” messages from people who normally never even send us a Christmas card is that, unknown to him, my husband’s smartphone had geolocated him and broadcast to all and sundry via his facebook that he was in the danger zone. This is all quite new, I think.

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Penny S
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I was interested to see, last night, on Eastenders, a programme I usually abjure, but I had a friend round who watches it, a piece including a character's favourite Surah. This was then quoted in Arabic, followed by a translation, which was about praying for and doing good first to those near you, and then to the stranger and the traveller - interpreted as treating kindly the whole world. The character explained that this, to him, summed up what Islam was about.

I don't know if Eastenders does the Archers thing of inserting short bits about topical matters at short notice, but it seemed most apposite.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
my husband’s smartphone had geolocated him and broadcast to all and sundry via his facebook that he was in the danger zone. This is all quite new, I think.

It was during the LA riots that I first noticed the phenomenon that the further away one is from a disaster, the closer contacts in the vicinity appear to be. The first message of sympathy I had, hundreds of kilometres away, was from Australia.

I also agree that the media really do act as a distorting mirror in all this, but this in and of itself frames the debate.

All that said, much as life goes on and must, I still think this is a game-changer.

And of course we all have our own ways of dealing with tragedy.

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quetzalcoatl
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Eutychus wrote:

quote:
It's too facile to say "Christianity is inherently peaceable and Islam is inherently violent", and I believe it would be unhelpful on French streets today to congratulate peaceable Muslims for being bad Muslims. I prefer to think of them more in terms of good God-fearers, like Cornelius.

At least some Muslim scholars appear to think a reinterpretation of the violent bits of the Koran is a legitimate stance. Do you wish to deny them that option?

Yes, talking of bad Muslims is risible, and echoes what the jihadis say. As far as I can see, there are plenty of Muslim scholars and imams who say that the violent passages in the Quran are usually taken out of context, and refer to self-defence.

In any case, if a particular imam teaches that Islam is peace, who am I to say that he's wrong?

Incidentally, I can't stand that Lennon track, Lennon at his worst. But this is subjective (like religion)!

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
I was interested to see, last night, on Eastenders, a programme I usually abjure, but I had a friend round who watches it, a piece including a character's favourite Surah. This was then quoted in Arabic, followed by a translation, which was about praying for and doing good first to those near you, and then to the stranger and the traveller - interpreted as treating kindly the whole world. The character explained that this, to him, summed up what Islam was about.

I don't know if Eastenders does the Archers thing of inserting short bits about topical matters at short notice, but it seemed most apposite.

I don't watch it these days either, but they did have a last minute edit featuring a black family lamenting Michael Jackson's death when that happened. So they could certainly stretch to it if they wanted.

Apparently the scene featured actress Maddy Hill, who has tweeted that the scene was filmed two months ago.

Tweet

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I also agree that the media really do act as a distorting mirror in all this, but this in and of itself frames the debate.

To me, the greatest distortion of the media isn't the message of loss and tragedy, to the families and friends of those who died, were seriously injured or have been traumatised it is a great tragedy. It is natural, human, to share in the grief of others.

The biggest issue is that the media message is "something needs to be done". Well, yes. But, the need to do something is no greater today than it was on Thursday. The push from the media to do something results in governments doing something, anything as long as it's something. Doing something inorder to do something is not likely to result in that something being the best thing to do.

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quetzalcoatl
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Yes, you end up with the notorious syllogism - we must do something; here's something; let's do that. Currently, I suppose it involves bombing, with no apparent end in mind.

One odd thing about IS currently, is that they seem to be baiting the West - come and get us. I'm not sure how that is supposed to play out - the West invade and IS get to behead lots of Western soldiers? Or maybe something more convoluted.

But the whole issue of Sunni revivalism (of which IS is the tip), is also confusing; presumably, the intelligence services are thinking hard about this, as it makes a military solution very difficult.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I also agree that the media really do act as a distorting mirror in all this, but this in and of itself frames the debate.

To me, the greatest distortion of the media isn't the message of loss and tragedy, to the families and friends of those who died, were seriously injured or have been traumatised it is a great tragedy. It is natural, human, to share in the grief of others.

The biggest issue is that the media message is "something needs to be done". Well, yes. But, the need to do something is no greater today than it was on Thursday. The push from the media to do something results in governments doing something, anything as long as it's something. Doing something inorder to do something is not likely to result in that something being the best thing to do.

But surely the government would be inclined to "do something" even if the Daily Mail or the Sun just reported the factual number of deaths and left it at that.

I don't think the media is responsible for the government's urge to do something. The need to do something is more urgent than last week as far as they are concerned because it's all come a lot closer to home.

I don't think it's a coincidence either that the Russians have come out today and announced that the Sharm plane crash was a terrorist act. The heat it now on, and any justification for action is fair game. No media required....

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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(Response to quetzalcoatl)

Supposedly, they are trying to provoke the Battle of Dabiq, which will usher in the end times.

[ 17. November 2015, 11:23: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
my husband’s smartphone had geolocated him and broadcast to all and sundry via his facebook that he was in the danger zone. This is all quite new, I think.

It was during the LA riots that I first noticed the phenomenon that the further away one is from a disaster, the closer contacts in the vicinity appear to be. The first message of sympathy I had, hundreds of kilometres away, was from Australia.
To be fair, we were *very* close to the drama. We were about 300m away from the restaurant/bar shootings. One was on the corner of the street we were on and other two were in the street parallel. We passed right in front of the pizzeria less than an hour before the attack. (That said, I should specify that we didn’t hear any gunshots and only realised later just how close we had been.)

However, when facebook geolocates all of its users who were within a certain radius and without their permission sends out a message to their whole address book saying “check x is ok, they were in the danger zone”, I am highly suspicious of their motives.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
I don't think it's a coincidence either that the Russians have come out today and announced that the Sharm plane crash was a terrorist act. The heat it now on, and any justification for action is fair game. No media required....

Your comment kind of proves my point.

Saying the Russians "came out" and "announced" the news implies you think they knew already. And where have they "announced" it if not in the media? And in what way is the "heat now on" in this respect in a way it wasn't before if not because of the media?

The media is part of the process, not least because of its propaganda potential. You only have to look at how events like this are portrayed in the media of different countries to become aware of this.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
But surely the government would be inclined to "do something" even if the Daily Mail or the Sun just reported the factual number of deaths and left it at that.

I don't think the media is responsible for the government's urge to do something. The need to do something is more urgent than last week as far as they are concerned because it's all come a lot closer to home.

The need is not more urgent, it is just perceived to be more urgent. But, you are right the media is not alone in creating that perception. The government (of several countries) itself does that as well, often so that it can do something it was inclined to do anyway but couldn't figure how to swing it. Some governments have taken the opportunity to close their borders to refugees, not because refugees are suddenly dangerous but because they hadn't wanted to accept their quota in the first place.

I'm now going to do something that goes against the core of my being. I admire the fact that David Cameron has not taken the opportunity to rush a motion through Parliament to authorise an increase in UK military action in Syria. We all know he wants to, and he could have even got away with it on Monday morning. But, he showed wisdom not to put that to the House when the anger and disgust over what happened on Friday would make a reasoned debate much harder. I feel I need to wash my hands after typing that ...

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
To be fair, we were *very* close to the drama. We were about 300m away from the restaurant/bar shootings. One was on the corner of the street we were on and other two were in the street parallel. We passed right in front of the pizzeria less than an hour before the attack.

There are different types of people, some are worriers others aren't.

I'm not. When I got up on Saturday morning here (which would have been about 11pm on Friday there) and the story was still breaking I wept for the bereaved and the injured and the brokenness of the world. I know a few people in France, several people through work as well as those on the Ship. I didn't even think they might be harmed - Paris is a big city, with a large population and the chances of any of the very small number of people I know being near the action, let alone having been in any danger, is vanishingly small.

That said, if any of them were friends on Facebook and I got a message to say they were near one of those restaurants I would have been much more concerned for their safety. Especially an automated message - a personal message to say someone was just around the corner, had taken shelter behind a table but are uninjured, would be completely different. I Just don't get what FB was trying to do.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
I don't think it's a coincidence either that the Russians have come out today and announced that the Sharm plane crash was a terrorist act. The heat it now on, and any justification for action is fair game. No media required....

Your comment kind of proves my point.

Saying the Russians "came out" and "announced" the news implies you think they knew already. And where have they "announced" it if not in the media? And in what way is the "heat now on" in this respect in a way it wasn't before if not because of the media?

The media is part of the process, not least because of its propaganda potential. You only have to look at how events like this are portrayed in the media of different countries to become aware of this.

I think they knew already because there was substantial commentary to the effect that it was a terrorist act almost immediately, with the UK and or US intelligence having intercepted information to that end.

Yes, I read that in the media as well, but it's less of an issue in this day and age, because now it is easier than ever to read a diverse range of opinion and comment and reporting, and see how they compare.

I read a considerable amount about the Sharm business on a technical forum about aviation, where there was discussion about the likelihood of catastrophic hull failure etc etc.

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Gamaliel
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Thanks for clarifying your point, Kaplan - but it still seems to slip into 'Islam is fundamentally unreformable' territory - as if the Suras that Steve Langton has mentioned are only capable of being understood in a literal sense.

If that's the case then it becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy and Muslims are trapped by our own impressions of what their teachings and values are rather than what they might come up with themselves.

As Eutychus has pointed out, there are Islamic scholars who put forward different ways of understanding and interpreting these texts.

Obviously, as a Christian, I'm going to go with the NT over the Quran - but that still leaves dilemmas over how we interpret some of the OT texts and genocides.

And again, as has been pointed out time and time and time again - there's always the matter of interpretation. The 'plain meaning of scripture' is always a problematic term. We all of us interpret the scriptures according to the interpretative framework of one tradition or another - be it evangelical, liberal, Catholic or whatever else.

But we've been down that road many times here.

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Gamaliel
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Mmmm ... might be a pedantic point but mr cheesy's point about French Huguenots coming to this country at the same time as other Protestants were being forced out is a tad anachronistic.

My impression is that the main period of Huguenot migration to London came after the various Acts of Toleration and the end of outright persecution of Dissenters. We're talking from the 1680s onwards - to the early 1700s.

The only time that there was any significant movement of Protestant Dissenters out of this country was in 1620 with the Pilgrim Fathers - and how many of them were there - 120 or so?

There were individuals who fled to the Netherlands or elsewhere for conscientious reasons but we're not talking about mass migrations.

Sure, there were the ejections of 'non-conforming' clergy in the 1660s (up to a third of all the clergy) and Dissenters - including Baptists, Quakers, Independents and Presbyterians - had a hard time of it during Charles II's reign ... particularly in Scotland - but we're not talking about hundreds or thousands of people being forced out of the country.

Just sayin', these things need to be kept in perspective.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I Just don't get what FB was trying to do.

That's easy: drive traffic to their site and become an unavoidable part of social interchange for revenue purposes.

lowlands_boy, I suspect we read the same aviation forum and very good it is too (just not quite as well moderated as this one [Biased] ). I'm all in favour of reading a breadth of information to make an informed opinion. The trouble is, few people can or do. And none of what you write disproves my point that your assertion that "the heat is (now) on" involves the media as more than a neutral reporting instrument.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

<snip>

I'm now going to do something that goes against the core of my being. I admire the fact that David Cameron has not taken the opportunity to rush a motion through Parliament to authorise an increase in UK military action in Syria. We all know he wants to, and he could have even got away with it on Monday morning. But, he showed wisdom not to put that to the House when the anger and disgust over what happened on Friday would make a reasoned debate much harder. I feel I need to wash my hands after typing that ...

Perhaps you could console yourself with the thought that he's just waiting for Corbyn to hang himself (or be hung, depending on your persuasion) for being soft on all this. Depending which media you read, there were various levels of disquiet in a Labour party meeting of MPs last night regarding Corbyn's position on "shoot to kill" policies.

Cameron might not have dived in with a parliamentary motion just yet, but he was sticking the boot into Corbyn about "needing to live in this world" in a speech last night.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Perhaps you could console yourself with the thought that he's just waiting for Corbyn to hang himself (or be hung, depending on your persuasion) for being soft on all this. Depending which media you read, there were various levels of disquiet in a Labour party meeting of MPs last night regarding Corbyn's position on "shoot to kill" policies.

Cameron might not have dived in with a parliamentary motion just yet, but he was sticking the boot into Corbyn about "needing to live in this world" in a speech last night.

Yet more loathsome individuals seeking cheap political capital out of tragedy. It's not just the Americans who do that.

Corbyn is not committed to a "shoot to kill" policy. Well, whoop-de-do. The UK doesn't have such a policy, that is a decision that is retained by the officer on the ground to determine whether the only way to protect the public is a lethal shot. We rely on the judgement of our police officers and the quality of their training to assess the situation as it is. Guess what, that's exactly the same position as Cameron has clearly stated recently. If Corbyn is soft on that, so is Cameron.

As for his reluctance to endorse military action, Corbyn is just maintaining the position he has always held. Which is the position anyone of intelligence living in this world would adopt. Yes, Daesh is an organisation, with leaders we can kill, with assets we can destroy. But, ultimately they are a manifestation of an idea. You can't destroy an idea with bombs, especially so when one of the central tenets of the idea is that infidels will seek to destroy you. Even if we managed to destroy Daesh, that will only leave room for a different jihadist group to rise up and fill the space we formed for them, more likely for several such groups to rise up. And, if they avoid the mutual in-fighting that exists between Al-qaida and Daesh and work together the world is in for another round of bad times.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Mmmm ... might be a pedantic point but mr cheesy's point about French Huguenots coming to this country at the same time as other Protestants were being forced out is a tad anachronistic.

My impression is that the main period of Huguenot migration to London came after the various Acts of Toleration and the end of outright persecution of Dissenters. We're talking from the 1680s onwards - to the early 1700s.

The only time that there was any significant movement of Protestant Dissenters out of this country was in 1620 with the Pilgrim Fathers - and how many of them were there - 120 or so?

There were individuals who fled to the Netherlands or elsewhere for conscientious reasons but we're not talking about mass migrations.

Sure, there were the ejections of 'non-conforming' clergy in the 1660s (up to a third of all the clergy) and Dissenters - including Baptists, Quakers, Independents and Presbyterians - had a hard time of it during Charles II's reign ... particularly in Scotland - but we're not talking about hundreds or thousands of people being forced out of the country.

Just sayin', these things need to be kept in perspective.

First, I didn't say anything about numbers.

Second I was making the point that minority religious views had been seen as a threat for an extended period - including some periods where protestant groups were being sheltered as refugees at the same time that other protestants were being ejected. The perspective being that those who are not the "majority" view are often considered to be a threat to the country.

That's all.

You may not consider the various ejections of radical protestant groups to be significant in the whole course of the history of those centuries, that is absolutely fine. I do.

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arse

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I Just don't get what FB was trying to do.

That's easy: drive traffic to their site and become an unavoidable part of social interchange for revenue purposes.

lowlands_boy, I suspect we read the same aviation forum and very good it is too (just not quite as well moderated as this one [Biased] ). I'm all in favour of reading a breadth of information to make an informed opinion. The trouble is, few people can or do. And none of what you write disproves my point that your assertion that "the heat is (now) on" involves the media as more than a neutral reporting instrument.

Clearly at present we have a huge plurality of sources of information - "traditional" media, social media, peoples blogs, etc etc.

At the other end of the spectrum, we could imagine no free media at all, with just a government information service.

In this case, if the government information service simply reported the facts "Several hundred people have been shot dead on the streets of Paris", I posit that the government would still be "feeling the heat" in terms of needing to do something.

You can invent a whole sliding scale of "press freedom" in between those two points, but I think in a situation like this, it would still get very hot for the government very near the "government information service" end.

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mr cheesy
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Really?

I'm a North Korean government news outlet reporting that the victorious, brave, honourable security services have foiled some dastardly terrorists seeking mayhem in Pyongyang. 8 terrorists were killed in a fierce gun-battle with some civilians being injured.

"Terrorists will never win," said our glorious leader as he visited the sick in hospital.

Hence the need for a free press.

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arse

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Perhaps you could console yourself with the thought that he's just waiting for Corbyn to hang himself (or be hung, depending on your persuasion) for being soft on all this. Depending which media you read, there were various levels of disquiet in a Labour party meeting of MPs last night regarding Corbyn's position on "shoot to kill" policies.

Cameron might not have dived in with a parliamentary motion just yet, but he was sticking the boot into Corbyn about "needing to live in this world" in a speech last night.

Yet more loathsome individuals seeking cheap political capital out of tragedy. It's not just the Americans who do that.

Corbyn is not committed to a "shoot to kill" policy. Well, whoop-de-do. The UK doesn't have such a policy, that is a decision that is retained by the officer on the ground to determine whether the only way to protect the public is a lethal shot. We rely on the judgement of our police officers and the quality of their training to assess the situation as it is. Guess what, that's exactly the same position as Cameron has clearly stated recently. If Corbyn is soft on that, so is Cameron.

As for his reluctance to endorse military action, Corbyn is just maintaining the position he has always held. Which is the position anyone of intelligence living in this world would adopt. Yes, Daesh is an organisation, with leaders we can kill, with assets we can destroy. But, ultimately they are a manifestation of an idea. You can't destroy an idea with bombs, especially so when one of the central tenets of the idea is that infidels will seek to destroy you. Even if we managed to destroy Daesh, that will only leave room for a different jihadist group to rise up and fill the space we formed for them, more likely for several such groups to rise up. And, if they avoid the mutual in-fighting that exists between Al-qaida and Daesh and work together the world is in for another round of bad times.

We discussed Corbyn at great length on the threads we had when we was elected, but I think his difficulty here is that he now gets infinitely more media attention than he's been used to, and isn't very effective at using it. When asked about the "shoot to kill" policy he said

"I think you have to have security that prevents people from firing off weapons where you can"

If we can avoid getting into what is surely dead horse territory about US gun laws, then at least in Europe, that position is completely taken for granted, so it's not very valuable use of his exposure. He might have been much better to say

"I think it's important for the police to be able to maintain their operational independence to use that force when necessary, but I find it very unpleasant as an individual".

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Really?

I'm a North Korean government news outlet reporting that the victorious, brave, honourable security services have foiled some dastardly terrorists seeking mayhem in Pyongyang. 8 terrorists were killed in a fierce gun-battle with some civilians being injured.

"Terrorists will never win," said our glorious leader as he visited the sick in hospital.

Hence the need for a free press.

I don't think the North Korean news agency is renowned for it's factual reporting. And I'm not arguing against a free press - we're discussing the extent to which the press force the government's hand.

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I thought I should update my signature line....

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
We discussed Corbyn at great length on the threads we had when we was elected, but I think his difficulty here is that he now gets infinitely more media attention than he's been used to, and isn't very effective at using it. When asked about the "shoot to kill" policy he said

"I think you have to have security that prevents people from firing off weapons where you can"

If we can avoid getting into what is surely dead horse territory about US gun laws, then at least in Europe, that position is completely taken for granted, so it's not very valuable use of his exposure. He might have been much better to say

"I think it's important for the police to be able to maintain their operational independence to use that force when necessary, but I find it very unpleasant as an individual".

From the reports he seems to have been asked a peculiar question - AIUI if a nutter with a Kalashnikov is on the loose the police do not ring up Downing Street to ask for permission to open fire. If Mr Corbyn had been asked whether he thought that police independence in this matter ought to be revoked, the question would make more sense.

(Not that I am particularly defending Mr Corbyn as he ought to have made this point.)

Also I don't think talking about 'shoot to kill' is very helpful because it implies there is such a thing as 'shoot to maim'.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Is the appropriate response to the Paris attacks to be upswing in war against the organization which sponsored them? Is it wise?

We'd have to sort out what the purpose of the attacks are. I cannot see that they are credible acts of war. Even with the scale of the Paris attacks and even Sept 11, these are not really acts of war. The groups doing them have no reasonable capacity to wage war. They have capacity for terror, that's all. These are awful, evil and terrible, but they are terror and not war I think.

There is a perspective floating in cyberspace that the attacks are really designed to gain adherents to the anti-modernisation, anti-globalisation factions within Islam; they don't want modern social, political and cultural trends in their world. By showing that the West is attacking Moslems, they gain credibility. That said, we need to do what we can to prevent terror attacks, but this is not a full on war. That would gain the Islamists much support they don't have. We helped them with their pursuit of support by invading Afghanistan, then Iraq, do we really want to do this again in Syria?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Is the appropriate response to the Paris attacks to be upswing in war against the organization which sponsored them? Is it wise?

I don't think it is, but I think it is perhaps the only realistically viable political option available to Hollande right now. Anything that looks like a weak response would be a gift to Le Pen. I'm glad I'm not a politician and I can see why we're enjoined to pray for them [Votive]

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Penny S
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Interesting that with all the talk about shooting people on the street, no-one has mentioned Jean Charles da Silva e de Menezes as an example what can happen if dealing with someone who is not currently actively engaged with an attack.
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Siegfried
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Er, what the heck is a "Constantinian Christian"?

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Gamaliel
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Don't ask, Siegfried ...

Meanwhile, I didn't say that the ejection of non-conforming ministers was historically insignificant, mr cheesy. Far from it. Historically, it was very significant.

What I was saying was that they were ejecyed from the CofE not forced to leave the country. Aa far as I am aware, no Protestants of whatever stripe were being forced out of this country at the time that the Huguenots sought refuge here.

That doesn't mean that all was hunky-dory for Dissenters at that time.

All I'm saying is that whilst there was some migration for conacience sake we aren't talking about mass deportations or anything of that kind.

As it happens, I've got a lot of time for the 17th century Dissenters but some were clearly nuts - and some of the Scottish Covenanters would have made Ian Paisley look positively cuddly.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
It's clearly not impossible if you look dispassionately at history, as has been pointed out above.

you can't look back on its spiritual ancestry and say nobody in it believed that.

Of course Christians over the centuries have believed in, and practised, violence to protect or propagate the faith, and I don't believe you really thought I didn't know that.

What is impossible, is to justify it from the NT.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

What I was saying was that they were ejecyed from the CofE not forced to leave the country. Aa far as I am aware, no Protestants of whatever stripe were being forced out of this country at the time that the Huguenots sought refuge here.

After decades of persecution, more than 3,000 Quakers left England between 1681 and 1683 for Pennsylvania. source

After Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, 50,000 Huguenot left France for England. source

Therefore both persecution (leading to emigration) and protection of different protestant religious minority was happening at the same time in England.

[ 17. November 2015, 21:38: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I wouldn't be surprised if all of those haven't been used at some point to justify the use of violent action in the name of Christ.

And it's possible that the comparison of Christ to a thief in the night has been used to justify burglary.

It's not hard to guess the exam results of a Hermeneutics and Exegesis 101 student who used the verses which you adduce to demonstrate that the NT teaches the use of violence to defend and spread Christianity.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
It's not hard to guess the exam results of a Hermeneutics and Exegesis 101 student who used the verses which you adduce to demonstrate that the NT teaches the use of violence to defend and spread Christianity.

I would struggle to make such an argument. And, if I did it would depend upon Steve's least favourite "Constantinian" worldview.

But, if we take a student who has an "it's obvious" worldview that sees Church and State as intrinsically linked (someone from Medieval Europe, in fact most Europeans until probably the 18th century and many since) so they don't question that. They read Romans as saying that God has ordained the government to maintain law and justice, by the sword if necessary, and Jesus saying to get more swords as an endorsement of Christian participation in government exercising that role. Governments are supposed to uphold law and justice, where do we find out what constitutes law and justice as God would define them? In the Bible, of course. Therefore, the government should uphold the Biblical laws, Christians should participate in that, and they should use physical force if necessary. Once the faith and the laws of the land become intertwined it's only a small step to using physical force to defend Christianity. Using force to spread Christianity would be harder to justify, but it could be done.

I don't believe a word of that argument because it's built on a foundational worldview I don't accept (though bit's like participating in government and law enforcement/criminal justice I would accept - though I may not use the verse about buying swords to justify it). But, the important thing is that arguments of that sort have been used to justify wars in the name of Christ. I've seen arguments of a similar nature made recently to claim wars against Islamic or Communist states and organisations are "Christian". The people thus arguing are, IMO, completely nuts. But, the arguments are made.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I would struggle to make such an argument.

I don't believe a word of that argument

The people thus arguing are, IMO, completely nuts.

ISTM that effectively you agree with me - the arguments can and have been made, but it is impossible to take them seriously as valid interpretations of the text.
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
the arguments can and have been made, but it is impossible to take them seriously as valid interpretations of the text.

Kaplan, has it ever occurred to you that at some point in the future, people could look back on some or other aspect of what you deem to be "valid interpretations of the text" and think it impossible take them seriously?

Are you really suggesting that everybody back in the day was merely deploying such "impossible" interpretations for expedient and cynical ends (or were plain stupid) and that nobody was making an honest and intelligent stab at understanding what the text meant to them?

And are you in the mean time reversing the argument exactly when it comes to Muslims and claiming that the only valid interpretation of the Koran that anyone can take seriously is one that enjoins violence?

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Alan Cresswell

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I find it impossible to take them seriously as valid interpretations because I don't accept the basic worldview that we can have a "Christian nation" with laws derived from the Bible, a nation in which deviation from Christian belief (as defined by the nation) is a form of treason against the state, etc. But, I do think that if you accept that worldview then there is enough in the Bible to make a belief in the use of violence to defend (and even expand) the Christian faith plausible.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I don't accept the basic worldview that we can have a "Christian nation" with laws derived from the Bible, a nation in which deviation from Christian belief (as defined by the nation) is a form of treason against the state, etc.

Nor do I. But I suspect that Calvin and Oliver Cromwell did.
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Alan Cresswell

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Probably Charles I as well. Which is the sort of thing that results in civil wars.

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Baptist Trainfan
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I nearly included him!!!
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mr cheesy
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Oh come on now, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to see how "the nation" is considered to be "the kingdom of heaven" in the NT, particular when the tradition includes the idea that it is in some way a continuation of the OT, where hereditary rulers, wars and punishment-on-behalf-of-God is the norm.

If you keep reading texts which talk about divinely-appointed kings, and you happen to be a king (ideally with a massive ego) then you're naturally going to imagine that you are the Defender of the Faith with Righteousness on your side.

[ 18. November 2015, 07:09: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Alan Cresswell

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No, it doesn't require much imagination. Which is probably part of why it was the normal way of thinking about the nation state for most of Christian history. Which doesn't, of course, necessarily make it right.

From that starting point, I think some of the interpretations of the NT verses about "the sword" that suggest violence is acceptable follow easily. And, we're back with the Crusades. We're still struggling to rid ourselves of that worldview, witness some pronouncements from right wingers in the US or some African Christian leaders - whether that's attempting to impose "Christian values" into the national law books, or declaring some violent actions as "holy war".

It appears that Daesh, and jihadist Islam in general, has brought into the nation state = kingdom of God thing in a big way. And, they have scriptures which from that position can easily be interpreted as advocating violence.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
No, it doesn't require much imagination. Which is probably part of why it was the normal way of thinking about the nation state for most of Christian history. Which doesn't, of course, necessarily make it right.

I didn't say anything about it being right - just some above seem unable to believe that anyone could read the bible and get that from it.

That is a failure of imagination.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
It appears that Daesh, and jihadist Islam in general, has brought into the nation state = kingdom of God thing in a big way. And, they have scriptures which from that position can easily be interpreted as advocating violence.

Yes. The crucial point here, though, is whether their scriptures can legitimately be interpreted any other way.*

It appears to me that the vast majority of Muslims believe the answer to this question is yes.

In view of this observation, I think we should give them the opportunity to explore that possibility as part of multi-faith, secular society.

It further appears to me that anyone answering no to this question is basically agreeing with the jihadists (otherwise discounted as "psychopathic monsters") and discounting their co-religionists who hold more moderate views as "bad Muslims".

And finally, it appears to me that in the modern world, anyone answering no is in effect either continuing to uphold a "Christian State" worldview - or in favour of the banishment of all religions from the marketplace.

==

*A secondary question to my mind, which should perhaps be on another thread, is what the theological basis for Christians' (in my view, undisputable) reinterpretation of their scriptures is.

[ 18. November 2015, 07:51: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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My wife is of the view that Islam is going through the ructions of something very similar to the Christian Reformation and Counter-Reformation, with differing (and conflicting) notions of the roles of religion, violence and civil society. We can certainly read about the horrors of that time (perpetrated by all sides) and there do seem to be uncanny parallels with today, although the technology and media have naturally moved on.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Are you really suggesting that everybody back in the day was merely deploying such "impossible" interpretations for expedient and cynical ends (or were plain stupid) and that nobody was making an honest and intelligent stab at understanding what the text meant to them?

Are you really suggesting that this is somehow my personal problem?

It's equally a problem for all those who don't believe that the NT endorses the coercive enforcement and adoption of Christianity, which I imagine includes everyone on the Ship, including yourself.

quote:
And are you in the mean time reversing the argument exactly when it comes to Muslims and claiming that the only valid interpretation of the Koran that anyone can take seriously is one that enjoins violence?
Nope.

Simply pointing out that an interpretation of the Koran as endorsing religious violence is, and always has been, recognised as an at least, and probably lot more, valid handling of its text as the alternative.

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Gamaliel
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My point was a pernickety and pedantic one, most certainly, mr cheesy.

Ok, 2 years isn't a long time, but my point was that the mass Huguenot migration to England (and subsequently Ireland too it seems) as well as other parts of Europe post-dated the Quaker migrations to Pennsylvania.

That's not to minimise the level of both high and low level pressure upon Quakers and other Dissenters. And whilst persecution/lack of religious tolerance was a major factor in the Pennsylvania experiment there were other factors involved too - as the article you linked to acknowledges ... William Penn saw it as a money-making enterprise to pay off his debts for one thing and there was also that utopian idea - common to many radical religious groups - of starting all over again from scratch and creating some form of alternative society ... in this case based on Quaker principles.

I'm not knocking that, all I'm saying is that the pressure/persecution facing Protestant dissenters in England was a lot less intense than that facing Huguenots in France ... all Huguenot pastors were exiled, many Huguenots were executed or sent to the galleys as slaves.

The Church of England didn't actually execute any Quakers - although Puritans in New England did.

The last person to be burnt at the stake for heresy in England was Edward Wightman in 1612. Sure, the authorities killed and executed Covenanters in Scotland in the 1670s and '80s - including the two women drowned at Wigtown in 1685 for refusing to swear an oath acknowledging James VII/II as head of the Kirk.

[Ultra confused]

On t'other side of the coin we have the Taliban-esque behaviour of extreme Covenanters - who murdered the Archbishop of St Andrews in 1679 and the Fifth Monarchy Men who went on the rampage across London in January 1661 provoking a crack-down on Dissenters by the authorities.

I'm not excusing the pressure/persecution of Protestant Dissenters during the reigns of Charles II and James II - but you can understand why the royalist authorities were jumpy - after all, as far as they were concerned the 'sectaries' had murdered both the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury and been responsible for the Civil Wars.

As far as the Quakers go, Cromwell seems to have taken a fairly lenient view of them but you've only got to read the writings of John Bunyan to see how the Friends were regarded by even the other independent dissenting groups - as misguided heretics at best and a threat to the very fabric of society at worst.

I've come across Friends today who regard George Fox as being somewhat mentally unbalanced - although I doubt that many of his antics would earn him a place in the Ship's Fruitcake Zone these days ...

Anyhow, those are all pernickety points and your essential point holds, that French Protestant refugees were largely welcomed and tolerated here at the same time as other forms of indigeneous Protestant were pressurised or even persecuted.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15997 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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