Sep 19

Shocking Documentary about UK Forced Adoption Practices

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Sep 19

The Folly of Obama’s ISIS Policiy

Obama supports ISIS

Why would the U.S. rearm the Free Syrian Army, which sold the beheaded American journalists to ISIS?

In an article published in World Net Daily, Joseph Farah has shown the folly of Obama’s policy regarding ISIS.

In deciding to arm “moderate Muslims”, Obama is ignoring the reality that most of the deaths perpetrated by ISIS have been leveled against Christian populations.

Farah’s article, titled “Why arm Mideast Muslims, not Christians?“, points out that while details are hard to verify, “we do know for certain is that Mosul, Iraq’s largest Christian town of about 300,000, has been virtually emptied of its population. That alone suggests a Christian holocaust is well under way.” Farah continued:

 

The Christian population of Iraq had already been largely driven out by years of war, persecution and infighting as they were treated as an afterthought even by U.S. occupation forces. Most of them fled to Syria, and have since faced death, persecution and refugee status yet again at the hands of ISIS.

In Mosul, ISIS advertised its barbarity and ruthlessness by photographing their executions of Christian children. They herded the kids into parks, beheaded them and placed their heads on sticks. ISIS has made music videos of themselves murdering Christian civilians and captured Iraqi soldiers, mostly Shiites.

child

ISIS targets Christian children.

“They are literally enjoying the act of killing and the fear and suffering experienced by others,” reports Catholic Online. “This sadism may be the purest manifestation of evil witnessed since the Rape of Nankin during World War II.”

Yet there was no mention of Christians in Obama’s “strategy” talk last week. Instead, Obama suggested the real victims of ISIS, which he insists is not Islamic, are mostly Muslims. This is an outrageous distortion of reality as the Christian community of the Middle East continues to face genocide at the hands of ISIS and al-Qaida.

Since the 1990s in Bosnia, the U.S. has systematically interceded to stop what it characterizes as ethnic and religious cleansing – only when the victims are Muslim. Not once has the U.S. lifted a hand to protect Christians. Muslim groups have been armed to defend themselves in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, often resulting in more bloodshed, not less. Not once has the U.S. even debated the idea of arming or rescuing Christians from the onslaught of fratricidal jihadists.

Once again, no one is rushing to aid Christians caught in the crossfire.

Why not?

Why does the U.S. continue to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Why would the U.S. rearm the Free Syrian Army, which sold the beheaded American journalists to ISIS?

Why does the U.S. provide military and other aid to Islamic communities and armies all over the world but never to Christians who face far more gruesome persecution?

Why is there no effort even to rescue the Christians or provide them with a homeland of their own?
Obama cannot be trusted to bomb Syrian targets, either. Just a year ago, he was demanding Congress give him authority to bomb the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been fighting ISIS and offering more protection to Christians than the U.S. has throughout its Iraq occupation. Now Obama says he wants to bomb the other side in this conflict. With such a history poor judgment, should he really be trusted to pick the right targets?

Christians have been the forgotten victims in this war for too long.

It’s time to give peace a chance by arming them to defend themselves or evacuating them on a massive scale and providing a safe haven for them in the U.S.

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Sep 16

Salmond’s Independent Scotland to promote gay rights

'Equality Network' at Glasgow Gay Pride 2013

‘Equality Network’ at Glasgow Gay Pride 2013

Homosexuals in Scotland may only number around 1% of its population, but Alex Salmond is courting their votes in a final push for the ‘Yes campaign’, according to Pink News.

The First Minister told the ‘Equality Network’, a group of homosexual activists, that an independent Scotland would cement perversion in a new constitution.

Mr Salmond said: “Independence is a once in a lifetime opportunity to embed and enhance LGBTI rights. With Independence we will be able to enshrine LGBTI equality in a written constitution – ensuring our rights cannot be easily reversed by any government”.  (‘Our rights’? What can that mean?)

“With a No vote we face the prospect of another Tory government committed to scrapping the Human Rights Act…It’s only with the full powers of an independent country that we can finally secure true equality for LGBTI people and a fairer society for all.”

The First Minister said the equality protections of a Scottish constitution would include: age, disability, gender identity, gender reassignment, intersex status, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

In reality, the gay-friendly Conservatives are not going to repeal ‘gay marriage’ or the Equality Act whether the UK remains signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights or not.  Mr Salmond is erecting an Aunt Sally.  But it gets worse.

Alex Salmond at 'Pride House'. The homosexual 'Rainbow' flag flew over St Andrew's House during the Commonwealth Games 2014.

Alex Salmond being ‘gay-friendly’ at ‘Pride House’. The homosexual ‘Rainbow’ flag flew over St Andrew’s House during the Commonwealth Games 2014.

Mr Salmond went on: “With complete control over foreign policy and international development we will be able to make full use of diplomatic relations and actively promote LGBTI equality and human rights around the world.”

So Indy-Scotland will not lift a finger to help Christians in Iraq but will promote sodomy across the globe.  The UK has been been bad enough at forcing its view through its aid budget down the throats of Africans, but under Mr Salmond, whips seem about to be replaced by scorpions.

Scotland will also give foreign homosexuals priority in asylum applications: “With independence we can have a new humane approach to asylum seekers and refugees in line with our values and commitment to upholding internationally recognised human rights. Our approach stands in stark contrast to Westminster’s aggressive approach that is best exemplified by their offensive ‘go home’ advertising campaign.

“Scotland has a very clear position on promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex rights both at home and abroad,” Mr Salmond concluded.

Christian Voice has remained neutral during the Scottish Independence debate, but Mr Salmond’s declaration now means that no Bible-believing Christian can vote for him or for independence, if it entails what its chief protagonist says it does.

 

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Sep 11

Independent Scotland won’t join anti-IS coalition

Alex Salmond - fiddling while Iraq burns.

Alex Salmond – fiddling while Iraq burns.

An independent Scotland won’t join an American/RUK coalition to defeat Islamic State, the Scottish First Minister has just said.

Responding to a question from Laurence Lee of Al Jazeera, Mr Salmond said in a press conference today that Scotland would only support military action against Islamic State if it were sanctioned by the United Nations.  Presenting this as a ‘lawful’ way of going about things, it rules out action specifically requested by Iraq and puts an impossible obstacle in the way of intervention.

‘We will only participate in military action which has been sanctioned by the United Nations in accordance with international law,’ the First Minister said.

Mr Salmond added: ‘It is a vital matter and one in which we are being successful that we hold our own communities together in a difficult international circumstance’.  He went on to say that the Muslim community of Scotland are ‘a vital part of our community and are not in any way responsible for the atrocities of the Islamic State and indeed have roundly condemned such atrocities in forthright terms.’

Community cohesion was an interesting context into which to place his opposition to action against Islamic State.

THE PURPOSE OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Mr Salmond raised the matter of the illegal invasion of Iraq, saying quite rightly that there was no United Nations sanction for it.

The need for a United Nations resolution would be perfectly valid in the context of the invasion of a sovereign state by another sovereign state, as was the case with the US/UK invasion of Iraq.  The UN was founded to prevent war in the wake of the destruction of World War II.  The UN Charter prohibits member states of the UN attacking other UN member states.  That is central to its purpose.  The United Nations deals, well or badly according to one’s perspective, with affairs between nations, or criticises or supports the actions of nations.

Iraqi Ambassador Faik Nerweyi has been asking the UK for military assistance to defeat Islamic State.

Iraqi Ambassador His Excellency Faik Nerweyi has asked the UK for military assistance to defeat Islamic State.

It can also call for peace between rival factions in a sovereign state or call for stability, as it did in Resolution 2103 over instability in Guinea-Bissau.  In Resolution 1701, it called for the withdrawal by Israel from Lebanon.  Calls in the Resolution for the cessation of hostilities by Hezbollah against Israel and the territorial integrity of Lebanon were inserted at the request of those country’s allies balanced the resolution.But the rise of Islamic State, a rogue army arising and invading sovereign states, is quite different.  There seems to be little precedent for a United Nations resolution for military action against some rag-bag international movement, however powerful or well-funded it is.  (Check out this list of recent UN resolutions)

If a sovereign state requests the help of another state in an internal emergency such as the one faced by Iraq, and is not doing anything remotely hostile against its own citizens, that state does not appear, under international law, to require the permission of the United Nations to come to its aid.  That is why people who were completely opposed to the invasion of Iraq, such as ourselves, are strongly calling for the UK and the US to help Iraq with military intervention against Islamic State now.

There is a big difference between the two and it is strange that Mr Salmond cannot see that.

SCOTLAND WILL FIDDLE WHILE IRAQ BURNS

Given that Iraq has actually asked the United States and the United Kingdom for military assistance against Islamic State, Mr Salmond is saying that Scotland will not help the Iraqi government to recover land lost to the Christians around Mosul, ancient Nineveh, even though the Iraqi government has requested it.  Scotland will insist on a United Nations resolution.  Of course Scotland would not immediately be a member of the UN in any case, and would need to apply, as Israel did in 1948, and a resolution on defeating Islamic State in Iraq will not be forthcoming.

So an independent Scotland under Salmond will fiddle while Iraq burns.  That is very sad if it is indicative of future foreign policy of an independent Scotland under Mr Alex Salmond.

 

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Sep 03

Britain Becomes Breeding Ground of Islamic Terrorism

Islamic Terrorism In Britain(3)Britain is fast becoming a breeding ground of Islamic radicalism as British-born Muslims flock to the Middle East to join the growing jihad.

An average of seven Britons a week are travelling to Syria and Iraq along a wide stretch on the Turkish border which has come to be known as the ‘Gateway to Jihad.’ In total, 2,000 British Muslims have travelled this route to fight in the jihad, Khalid Mahmood, MP for Perry Barr, has warned.

Concern is increasing that when these British citizens return home they could unleash terror on UK streets.

Once in the Middle East, these British citizens have been joining the brutal terrorist group ISIS (also known as IS and ISIL), a successor group to Al-Qaeda with strong roots in the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Qaeda has recently distanced itself from ISIS because of its unimaginable brutality, which the BBC reported includes atrocities such as “targeted killings, forced conversions, slavery, sexual abuse, and the besieging of entire communities.”

Below are only some of the high profile cases of jihadists with links to Britain:

  • A British student who decided to join the Jihad in Iraq has been calling on Muslims to join the Golden Era of Jihad.
  • Terrorists with British accents have been sending recorded threats to the West.
  • Khadijah Dare, a British girl from Lewisham, south London, has vowed to be the first woman to kill Westerners. The twenty-two year old was born a non-Muslim but was radicalised online before moving to Syria. Hours after the brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley, Dare gloated about the murder online. She has also posted pictures of her four-year-old son with an AK-47 rifle and has threatened to cut off heads.
  • One former Morrisons security guard travelled to Syria where he gave an interview with the BBC, boasting about fighting with ISIS. He has threatened to “bomb the UK” and laughed about the beheading of soldier during his interview.
  • It was reported that Sally Jones, a former female rock band member from Chatham, decided to join the Jihad. She has threatened to behead Christians by herself with a blunt knife. (“You Christians all need beheading with a nice blunt knife and stuck on the railings at raqqa … Come here I’ll do it for you!”)
  • British women who joined ISIS have been operating a Sharia police force to punish those deemed to be “unIslamic.”
  • Citizens of Britain have also been involved in funding the would-be Islamic state in Iraq and Syria.
  • Britain has offered as safe haven to Libya’s highest spiritual leader, the grand mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, who helped to orchestrate the Islamist takeover of Tripoli from his home in the UK.

 

THE METHODS AND GOALS OF ISIS

ISIS troops advance through the Middle East

ISIS troops advance through the Middle East

Once in Iraq and Syria, these British-born jihadists are trying to help ISIS achieve its goal, which is to eliminate all borders in the Middle East and establish a Caliphate under the monarchy of the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a man wanted for $10 million by the Americans.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his thugs have exploited grievances felt by the Sunni community following their marginalization in the government America helped to establish under the Shia triumphalism of Nouri al-Maliki. After breaking off of Al-Qaeda, the group has gone on to control much of eastern and northern Syria and western and northern Iraq.

It is not simply the lawful governments of Iraq and Syria that have become the target of ISIS; they have also been exterminating the civilian populations on an unimaginable scale. Their regime of ethnic cleansing is slowly and systematically exterminating some of the world’s oldest Christian communities. ISIS has also been targeting Shia Muslims and all Middle East populations not associated with their particularly fanatical version of Islam.

When ISIS forces conquer an area they immediately impose Sharia law, including a ban on smoking, football and music. Women are forced to be completely veiled in black from head to toe and forbidden from leaving their house without a male guardian. ISIS thugs even routinely raid schools to punish girls who are not fully veiled in black. The less fortunate women are sold into sexual slavery.

ISIS terror

ISIS troops are raging through the Middle East terrorizing local populations as well as pillaging, torturing and raping all who do not subscribe to their fanatical version of Islam.

ISIS has issued ultimatums demanding that all Christians convert to Islam, pay the jizya tax required of non-Muslims, or die. Last month we reported on a typical case of what happened when a Christian father could not afford this tax: three ISIS soldiers barged into his house and proceeded to rape his wife and daughter in front of him. The husband and father was so distraught that he later killed himself.

More recently, there have been reports that the holocaust against Christians has included youths being crucified and beheaded and buried alive and numerous other atrocities for no reason other than the fact that these children are Christians.

ABC news reported that in towns controlled by the group, “Friday is the day for public beheadings and amputations for people who violate its strict Islamic rule, and whippings for women if their clothing offends ISIS’ sense of propriety.”

The UN reported that “Civilians, including children, are urged to watch. Bodies of those killed are placed on display for several days, terrorizing the local population”


BEHIND THE BRITISH JIHAD

It is hard to imagine why so many hundreds of British men and women are eager to travel to the Middle East to join in the barbarism and carnage perpetuated by ISIS. While the motivations behind the British wing of jihad are complex and multifaceted, there are a number of contributing factors we have identified over the years which helped to contextualize the growth of radical Islam in the UK.

One factor is that Britain’s native Muslim population has recently seen huge expansion due to high birth rate and conversions to Islam. While the growing population of British Muslims are mostly peace-loving, nevertheless this growth does increase the pool of people that can be potentially radicalized. We saw this with startling clarity in 2013 when radical Islam made huge inroads into all aspects of British life.

Another factor contributing to home-grown terrorism is that the British government and media have long been involved in a jihad against free speech, as they seek to suppress all discussion of the link between Islam and terrorism. This has included banning talk show host Michael Savage from entering the UK because of his anti-Muslim views, and more recently the Government’s decision to prohibit Robert Spencer from entering the UK (Robert Spencer is the author of Stealth Jihad.)

By denying any link between terrorism and the teachings found in Islamic texts, and then using strong-arm tactics to suppress scholars who might suggest otherwise, the authorities in Britain have left themselves unable to adequately address the challenges posed by home-grown radicalism.

“Why does it make any difference whether or not what the Islamic State is doing is in accord with Islamic texts and teachings?” Robert Spencer asked. “Among other reasons, because it will help determine how much support the new caliphate will ultimately get from Muslims worldwide, and will serve as an indicator of how much we can expect to see the actions of the Islamic State replicated by other Muslims elsewhere.” Such questions are being ignored by our officials, who have become convinced that the basic problem is that the terrorists are mistaken about their own religion. Accordingly, our incredibly naive officials believe that the solution is to simply better educate the terrorists so they will realize that their terrorism was actually based on ignorance concerning the real teaching of their religion.

This atmosphere of denial has been fueled by Britain’s multiculturalism, and the strange alliance multiculturalism has wrought between modern liberalism and Islamic fascism. This is not purely academic: earlier this year we reported on how multiculturalism caused the British Government to hide the truth about Muslim grooming gangs and perpetuate a “conspiracy of silence” that left countless girls abused and damaged for life. (See the report from yesterday “UK: Prosecutor ‘branded a racist’ for prosecuting Muslim rape gang”). The same conspiracy of silence has left the UK Government unable to fully address the jihad springing up in our midst.

 

Further Reading

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Aug 29

Arrested for Quoting Churchill

Aug 27

Islamic State: Hammond! Talk to Assad!

Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

Two top retired generals and the chairman of parliament’s intelligence and security committee are calling for collaboration with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in order to defeat Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

But HM Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs refuses even to pick up the phone.

Former army chief and committed Christian Lord Dannatt, General Sir Richard Shirreff and Sir Malcolm Rifkind have all called on Philip Hammond to work with President Assad.

Lord Dannatt told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “I think whether it’s above the counter or below the counter, a conversation has got to be held with him. Because if there’s going to be any question of air strikes over Syrian air space, it’s got to be with the Assad regime’s approval.”

Sir Malcolm, the chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, and a former foreign secretary and defence secretary, said that the US and its allies must be prepared to work with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to have any hope of defeating Isis.  He said history had shown that “sometimes you actually have to make an arrangement with some nasty people in order to get rid of some even nastier ones”.  Sir Malcolm also called for Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop “the private funding and help that has been given to jihadi extremists by supporters in their countries for several years”.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad

But Philip Hammond rejected the calls, saying: “We may very well find that we are aligned against a common enemy but it would poison what we’re trying to achieve in separating moderate Sunni opinion from the poisonous ideology of Isil if we were to align ourselves with Assad.”

Today, General Sir Richard Shirreff spoke of the inevitability of talks with the Syrian president.

“There can be no eradication of Islamic State as a threat without a regional approach,” he said. “Islamic State is operating and has spread into Syria and therefore, there is likely to be – or inevitably going to be – a need to sit down and talk to difficult bedfellows.”

Christian Voice believes that Mr Hammond, like his predecessor, over-estimates his ability to turn the Syrian rebels into some sort of democratic body respecting the human rights of minorities such as the Christians and Alawites of Syria.

The Syrian regime was destabilised at the bidding of fanatical pro-democracy agitators like George Soros.  Soros funded Syrian activists directly and through his links to avaaz.org. (See March 2011 in the link)  (More on Avaaz here).  It was only by the grace of God that a government motion to take military action against the Syrian Government was defeated in the UK House of Commons on 30th August 2013.  But US intervention and UK and European logistical support inevitably fueled the rise of ISIS.  Weaponry delivered to the rebels has inevitably found its way into the hands of Al-Qaeda and now ISIS.

There are recent reports that France has been supplying the non-ISIS rebels.  Even while ISIS was getting going, America sent arms to Syrian rebels in April 2014.  The US supplied TOW missile systems which are now in Syrian rebel hands.  There are reports that the US trained Islamic militants at a base in Jordan: This is from WorldNetDaily and is too heavily laden with reasoned comment and good links to be dismissed. Another article from WorldNet Daily exposes the Soros links and shows that back in February this year, the US and UK were not even bothered about ISIS as they gaily pressed ahead arming the Syrian rebels and plotting President Assad’s downfall.  The US was warned a year ago about ISIS, and ignored the warnings.  Now it is the world’s best-funded terrorist group.

We have held a consistent view that only President Assad stood between Christians in Syria and a blood-bath, that the UK Government was wrong to support the Islamic militants trying to oust him.  Our Government are responsible for a colossal loss of life and property, in fact for what Sir Malcolm calls the ‘destruction’ of Syria.  They now have a face-saving opportunity to switch sides.

SEE:

10th March 2014: Kidnappers Free Syrian Nuns

16th February 2014: Senator McCain Defends Syrian Rebels in Unprecedented Temper Tantrum

16th February 2014: Syrian Rebels Kidnap Nuns and Orphans

13th September 2013: CIA-armed Syrian rebels attack Christian town

11th September 2013: Interview with Samuel Noble on Syria, Assad, and the US

9th September 2013: Why Obama Needs a War with Syria

6th September 2013: Vladimir Putin Warns America Not to Attack Syria

30th August 2013: Syria: How your MP voted

20th June 2013: How the West is Helping to Destroy Christianity in Syria

18th June 2013: Middle East state arms Syrian Islamists

10th August 2013: £32.5m for the anti-Christian Syrian rebels

27th July 2013: Syria – Thank God for the Russians

 

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Aug 27

Gay Marriage is Massive Intrusion Into Family Life

Today the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld same-sex “marriage” in the state of Oregon by denying the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) the right to defend Oregon’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

The decision has left NOM with no route other than appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to adjudicate this fall in disputes in a number of different states. Christian Voice will aim to keep our readers informed of these upcoming Supreme Court battles, which build on the ambiguity of last January’s ruling.

Much of the rationale behind same-sex marriage in Oregon and other American states has been the notion that opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ represents a massive intrusion into family life. As Scott Shackford recently claimed: “Laws forbidding recognition of gay marriage are a government intrusion…”

Earlier in the year I had a chance to engage in a public debate about same-sex ‘marriage’, and I argued that the shoe is actually on the other foot: it is gay marriage that threatens to bring unprecedented government intrusion into family life. Since my opponent quit in the middle of cross-examining me, I never had a chance to publish my statements. In preparation for the Supreme Court battles this fall, I thought it was a fitting time to share some of the arguments I made in that debate.

Gay Marriage Will Affect EVERY Marriage

One of the things I like to do with my children is to throw pebbles into a pond and watch the ripples. When you first throw a pebble into the water the ripples are rather small, but soon they widen and disturb the surface of the entire body of water.

Legalizing gay marriage is like dropping a small pebble into a pond because it has ramifications that keep widening and widening. In fact, when a nation legalizes same-sex ‘marriage’, the ramifications are so broad that they affect every marriage in the land, not simply the, so called, ‘marriages’ among those of the same sex.

prison

As marriage and family lose their objective fixity, all of us become de facto wards of the state.

Most people are not aware of how gay marriage will undermine the traditional family because it does so in ways that are subtle and ubiquitous. However, once gay marriage is introduced into a nation, it undermines the integrity of every family and every marriage in the land. It does this by rearranging the family’s relationship to the state.

A state that recognizes such a thing as gay marriage is a state that has assumed the god-like power to declare which collections of individuals constitute a ‘family.’ But by this assumption government declares that both marriage and family are little more than legal constructs at best, and gifts from the state at worst. In the former case, marriage and family lose their objective fixity; in the latter case, all of us become wards of the state.

Consider: without the intervention of government, there is no pre-political, existential state of affairs that mark certain types of same-sex relationships out as being marriage within a state of nature. Unlike heterosexual marriage, which exists in nature and is then recognized by the state on the basis of intrinsic goods attached to it (including, but not limited to, the assurance of patrimony), homosexual marriage is an abstract legal entity with no natural or existential existence. Since neither consummation nor biologically-derived intrinsic goods are viable concepts among same-sex couples (a point the UK Parliament had to concede when introducing their same-sex marriage laws), it follows that the only way a consensual relationship between two people of the same sex can be upgraded into marriage is if the state steps in and declares that relationship to be a marriage, in much the same way as the state might declare something to be a corporation or some other legal entity.

It is here that we see just how radical gay marriage really is. The architects of same-sex marriage like to see themselves as being revolutionary, but even they usually fail to appreciate just how revolutionary their proposals actually are. Their project goes beyond the merely petty concerns for “equality” and “marriage freedom” that have become campaigning slogans in this debate. On the contrary, the truly revolutionary aspects of their agenda is that by substituting empirical goods with legal goods, the family’s role in society is not simply undermined, it is completely redrawn.

Up to now, human societies have always been able to point to empirical acts that are a necessary condition for a viable marriage, such as consummation. Similarly, human societies have also been able to point to empirical acts which can invalidate a marriage, such as adultery. Human societies have also been able to point to intrinsic goods which marriages normally yield, including but not limited to the assurance of patrimony, the integrity of inheritance, the preservation of extended relationships of kinship and the role that such relationships play as the primary social structure against the aspirations of kings, ambitious overlords and the state. The web of marriage laws that tribes and societies have produced throughout the centuries have always been posterior to these empirical realities, so that what constitutes a viable marriage and family has never been purely a matter of jurisprudence. That is why we can speak meaningfully of a “common law marriage” even in the absence of explicit legal recognition.

All of these empirical markers come crashing down under the legal positivism of same-sex marriage. The architects of “marriage equality” are rearranging the relationship between family and state by making our most vital connections merely the result of positive law. For without the mechanisms of the state to confer the status of marriage upon two members of the same sex, there are no acts that organically mark their union out as being a specifically marital one. One can point neither to empirical acts nor to intrinsic goods that mark a same-sex relationship out as being “marriage” in a state of nature, and that is why the concept of a “common law marriage” can have no meaning when it comes to same-sex marriages. There are simply no non-legal state of affairs that allow us to distinguish a gay marriage from other types of same-sex relationships. The existential reality of the same-sex “marriage” relationship, which is usually explained in terms of a commitment of love between two consenting adults in which the physical elements are downplayed (don’t believe me, see here and here and here and here), does not itself distinguish that relationship from numerous other sorts of loving relationships that exist in this world. So what is it that sets this type of relationship apart to make it ‘marital’? Again, the answer is that it can only be the state.

Redefining the Ontology of the Family

Here’s the rub: once we concede that same-sex ‘marriage’ is purely the creation of positive law, then for these ‘marriages’ to be truly equal to heterosexual ones, we would have to acknowledge that EVERY marriage and family is a post-political institution instead of being pre-political. This concedes to the state the power to determine what collections of individuals constitute a marriage or a family, rather than acknowledging that the state merely recognizes a reality that precedes itself and exists within a state of nature on the basis of empirically recognizable markers. This is nothing short of a revolution in the ontology of the family, a challenge to what a family fundamentally is, and an unprecedented rearrangement of the relationship between state and family.

eatingThe ubiquitous effects of this rearrangement are felt at every level of family life. When a family sits down at the table to eat together, there is a huge practical difference if they think they are only a family because of bonds created by the state, as opposed to thinking they are a family because of bonds that are natural and pre-political. When a son says, “that’s my Dad” or a man says “that’s my wife”, the meaning is completely different if you think these relationships are purely legal constructs instead of natural, pre-political realities. This difference is not always something we can explicitly quantify or even something that we are conscious of, as our deepest convictions are part of the taken-for-granted background by which we map our way in the world. The laws in our society play a formative role in this orienting process, as Aristotle understood. Laws are educational in so far as they train us (on a subliminal level that we are often unaware) in how we see ourselves, our relationships to others, and our relationship to the state.

Marriage As A Legal Fiction

If we attend to the experience of those nations that have legalized same-sex marriage, we see that these seismic shifts I’m concerned about have already begun to take place with a frightening consistency. In short, marriage has been reduced to little more than a legal fiction.

In his article ‘Why Fight Same-Sex Marriage?’ Canadian Douglas Farrow gave examples of the ubiquitous effects that arose in Canada following the introduction of same-sex ‘marriage.’

“Six years ago, when same-sex marriage became law in Canada, the new legislation quietly acknowledged this [that family is nothing more than a legal construct]. In its consequential amendments section, Bill C-38 struck out the language of ‘natural parent,’ ‘blood relationship,’ etc., from all Canadian laws. Wherever they were found, these expressions were replaced with ‘legal parent,’ ‘legal relationship,’ and so forth. That was strictly necessary. ‘Marriage’ was now a legal fiction, a tool of the state, not a natural and pre-political institution recognized and in certain respects (age, consanguinity, consent, exclusivity) regulated by the state.”

That is ultimately why we should oppose gay marriage, even though almost everyone is ignoring these concerns. In short, the concern is that a nation that legalizes gay marriage is a nation that has intruded itself into the life of every family in the land; it does this by granting itself the god-like power to determine which collections of individuals constitute a family.

John Milbank

John Milbank

As the nations of the world rush to redefine marriage in order to accommodate the shrill demands of homosexuals (and yes, despite much sophistry to the contrary, the gay community does want us to redefine marriage), it might be nice to think that heterosexual marriage can preserve its ontological legitimacy without collapsing into purely a legal fiction in the eyes of the state (let alone in the eyes of ourselves). However, there is no reason to suppose that the push for equality will stop at the inclusion of homosexuals in the category of marriage; the logic of equality, once unloosed, may eventually entail that we conceive heterosexual marriages according to the same terms as homosexuals necessarily understand marriage. John Milbank has warned of this last year, noting that

During the course of recent debates in the British Parliament over the proposed legalisation of gay marriage, it has gradually become apparent that the proposal itself is impossible. For legislators have recognised that it would be intolerable to define gay marriage in terms equivalent to “consummation,” or to permit “adultery” as legitimate ground for gay divorce….

Why, then, should Christians worry, if this is all just a matter of terminology? Can we not live with differing definitions of marriage? …

…the graver fear surrounding the new legislation is that secular thought will not so readily let go of the demand for absolutely equal rights based on identical definitions. In that case, we face an altogether more drastic prospect. Not only would “marriage” have been redefined so as to include gay marriage, it would inevitably be redefined even for heterosexual people in homosexual terms. Thus “consummation” and “adultery” would cease to be seen as having any relevance to the binding and loosing of straight unions.

Milbank went on to warn that in severing the natural link between sex and procreation, the natural children of heterosexual couples would belong to them on the same terms as the children of homosexual couples belong to them; that is, they would only legally be their children if the state decided that they might be legally “adopted” by them. Milbank ended on this sobering note, which is also a fitting summary of the concerns I have tried to articulate:

This is not about natural justice, but the desire on the part of biopolitical tyranny to destroy marriage and the family as the most fundamental mediating social institution.

Heterosexual exchange and reproduction has always been the very “grammar” of social relating as such. The abandonment of this grammar would thus imply a society no longer primarily constituted by extended kinship, but rather by state control and merely monetary exchange and reproduction.

For the individual, the experience of a natural-cultural unity is most fundamentally felt in the sense that her natural birth is from an interpersonal (and so “cultural”) act of loving encounter – even if this be but a one-night stand. This provides a sense that one’s very biological roots are suffused with an interpersonal narrative. Again, to lose this “grammar” would be to compromise our deepest sense of humanity, and risk a further handing over of power to market and state tyrannies supported by myths both of pure human nature and technocratic artifice.

Further Reading

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Aug 22

Iraqi Christians valued, says Ambassador

His Excellency the Iraqi Ambassador talks to the protestors.

The Iraqi Ambassador meets the protestors.

Iraqi Christians are valued, the Iraqi Ambassador told a group of Christians earlier today.

His Excellency Faik Farik Abdul Aziz Nerweyi crossed Queens Gate in central London to speak with protesters opposite the Iraqi Embassy.

The witness, for Christians in Iraq, was organised by Christian Voice.

The Ambassador pledged to recover all territory lost to Islamic State, and said he was asking the British Government for help.

He said the ancient Assyrian Christian community made a valued contribution to modern Iraq.

His Excellency rejected any idea of negotiation with Islamic State.

‘You cannot negotiate with a wild animal,’ he said. ‘Either you kill it or it kills you.’

Over twenty believers came from around London and from as far as Canterbury, Cheltenham, Manchester, St Leonards, Stevenage, Walsall and west Wales to stand for their brothers and sisters.

HAMMOND WON’T WORK WITH ASSAD

The Iraqi Embassy is in Queen's Gate, London SW7

The Iraqi Embassy is in Queen’s Gate, London SW7

In other developments, UK Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond disappointingly rejected a call from former army chief and committed Christian Lord Dannatt and ex-Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind to work with President Assad of Syria to defeat Islamic State.

Lord Dannatt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think whether it’s above the counter or below the counter, a conversation has got to be held with him.”

Sir Malcolm, the chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said history had shown that “sometimes you actually have to make an arrangement with some nasty people in order to get rid of some even nastier ones”.

Christian Voice has held a consistent view that only President Assad stood between Christians in Syria and a blood-bath, that the UK Government was wrong to support the Islamic militants trying to oust him.  Our Government are responsible for a colossal loss of life and property.  They now have a face-saving opportunity to switch sides.

Over twenty Christians came from as far afield as Canterbury, Manchester and Wales to stand for their brothers and sisters.

Over twenty Christians came from all over England and Wales to stand for their brothers and sisters in Iraq.

FRANCE TAKING IRAQI REFUGEES

Iraqi Christians with connections to France are being offered asylum.  About 40 Iraqi Christian refugees flew to Paris from Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan earlier today to be welcomed by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The British Government has yet to offer asylum to Christians from either Iraq or Syria.

It could of course be argued that it is better to stay and fight, and we expect Christians in the Qaraqosh Protection Committee and other militias will be of that mind.  But we have to realise that they will return home to nothing.  Buildings will be torched by the retreating forces, fields plundered and livestock slaughtered to feed Islamic State militants.  It will take a massive aid effort to provide for people just to get through this winter, let alone to restock them and help them to get up and running again.

Christian Voice has asked members to pray that the UK Government will respond with aid, arms, air cover and offers of asylum for Christians in Iraq and to contact their members of Parliament.

PERSECUTION ELSEWHERE

We need also to recognise that it is not just Islamic State who are persecuting Christians.  The Christian minority are under intolerable pressure in areas under Iraqi Government control and even in the Kurdish autonomous region.  In a letter delivered to the Ambassador, we have urged the Iraqi Government to safeguard real religious freedom.

Persecution.net reports:

A car bomb targeted believers in Baghdad on Christmas Day 2013.

Canon Andrew White reported that ‘scores’ of Christians were being killed daily in October 2013.

Gunmen opened fire on an Assyrian Church in Baghdad in June 2013.

Christian-owned businesses were burned in December 2011 in the Kurdish region.

Since 2003, the Christian population of Iraq has halved from their number in 1991.

 

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Aug 18

Iraq: Bishop’s call for action

Dr Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds

Dr Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds

A Church of England bishop has called on the British Government to do more for Christians in Iraq.

The bishop of Leeds, Nicholas Baines, has written to David Cameron with the support of the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, according to The Observer.

The letter describes the government’s Middle East policy as incoherent, ill-thought-out and determined by “the loudest media voice at any particular time”.

The Observer says it describes the UK’s foreign policy as so muddled and reactive that it is “difficult to discern the strategic intentions” of the government’s approach to the region.

Mr Cameron is accused of turning his back on the suffering of Christians. The letter asks why the plight of religious minorities in Iraq, such as the Yazidis, seems to have taken precedence. It notes that, though the government responded promptly to reports of at least 30,000 Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar, the fate of tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing jihadists from Mosul, Iraq’s second city, and elsewhere appears to have “fallen from consciousness”.

Dr Baines also takes the Prime Minister to task for failing to develop an effective plan to tackle the spread of violent Islamist extremism in Nigeria, where the militant group Boko Haram has terrorised the north of the country. “We do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe,” the bishop writes.

Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White

Meanwhile, Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St George’s Church, Baghdad, the only Anglican church in Iraq, is calling for military intervention.  Canon White writes of a secret visit to Qaraqosh (also known as Bakhdida – see MAP) the largest Christian town in Iraq until it was over-run by ISIS two weeks ago, causing a mass evacuation of Christians to Irbil in the Kurdish sector.

Some 30,000 refugees are packed into the Kurdish capital, forming a new Christian suburb at Ankawa, near Irbil airport.

Canon White said, ‘I spoke to one woman who had survived the massacres in Qaraqosh. She had a bandaged left hand. When IS soldiers could not remove her gold wedding ring, they had simply hacked off her finger. She wept as she told me.’

Dr White has been at the forefront of practical action.  ‘These people need mattresses, clothes, blankets and food,’ he says. But he is also now calling for military intervention  ‘I now believe that military action of some sort is necessary, if only to reduce the movement of IS tanks, their soldiers, and their power and authority on the ground,’ he says.

There is some indication that the British Government may be moving in that direction.  David Cameron has spoken of the need for a “firm security response.”

Kurdish Peshmerga troops have at this time of writing retaken villages to the east of the Mosul Dam and are close to taking the dam itself.  They have achieved this military success with the help of American air cover.

But the Kurds and the Christian Qaraqosh Protection Committee now need to move closer to Mosul itself first retaking the area between Irbil and Mosul which includes Qaraqosh.  The people will only be able to return to Qaraqosh when the Tigris river, from where the town pipes its water supply, is retaken.  For this to happen, the US will need to take out as many ISIS military assets as possible, including the tanks and artillery it supplied to the Iraqi Northern Division, now in ISIS hands.

READ: Ex 15:1-3; Psalm 10:1-18, 44:22-26, 62:1-8, 116:15; Prov 24:11-12; Lam 1:12; Matt 10:23; Luke 21:12; Rev 12:11

PRAY: That God would protect the Christians throughout Iraq from violence. That there would be a halt to the progress of ISIS and cities would be freed from their law. That there would be enough resources to take care of the hundreds of thousands of refugees and that they might be able to return home soon. That the persecution of Christians would not be ignored by the West, but that effective action would be taken by those in power to protect our brothers and sisters.

WRITE: (Or Email) your MP at House of Commons, LONDON, SW1A 0AA. Ask him/her to urge Her Majesty’s Government to support efforts to retake Qaraqosh and Mosul and to protect Christians in Iraq. Ask what they are pressing the Iraqi government to do. Ask if they will be offering asylum to Iraqi Christians. Ask if they are still supporting the rebels in Syria or if they have at last decided it’s time to switch sides. Stress that it was Her Majesty’s Government who got Iraq into this mess and funded what has become ISIS in Syria.

WITNESS: Outside the Iraqi Embassy, 21, Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5JE, on Friday 22nd August from 2pm to 4pm. Nearest tube: Gloucester Road.

 

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