Example #1: Catholic cardinal denounces abortion, and says Catholic politicians who back abortion should consider their stance on receiving Communion.

The BBC invites comments on the following question:

“Should the church intervene in politics”

What are your views on the speech given by the Cardinal? Should politics and religion be kept separate?

Example #2: Anglican Archbishop criticises the government over its case for war in Iraq and says that there has been a loss of trust in the political system.

The BBC invites comments on the following question:

“Is Archbishop right to speak out against the government?”

Do you agree with the Archbishop’s views? Is he right to speak out about the government? Have you lost your trust in politics?

Notice how in the second case, Dr Williams is described as “speaking out”, which has a flavour of courage about it, whereas Cardinal O’Brien is “intervening in politics”, which suggests a busybody. Yet a Catholic prelate has a far more obvious duty to relay his Church’s clear and emphatic teaching about abortion (particularly when his remarks are addressed to politicians who identify themselves as Catholics) than an Anglican prelate has to employ a sermon give his personal opinion about one particular war, a subject upon which the Anglican church can have no doctrine, for all the efforts of its more “progressive” members. I wonder why the BBC did not see fit to ask “should religion and politics be kept separate?” in the case of Dr Williams’ views rather than Cardinal O’Brien’s?

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45 Responses to Interventions.

  1. archduke says:

    well spotted.
    and as from my reading of the issue the Catholic chap is merely pointing out the hypocrisy of “Catholic” politicians in Scotland, who say they are Catholic to the voters, but support abortion in the political sphere.

    rather like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.

    if you’re a self professed “Catholic” you cant pick and choose. sorry , but thats what Catholicism is.


  2. Lee Moore says:

    Yes, well spotted Natalie. I put this onto the DHYS debate, but I’d forgotten about the Iraq war.

    “The fuss is not about the Church intervening in politics, but the Church taking the wrong side ! As far as the chatterati are concerned, the Church is welcome to blather on ad nauseam about the need for more child benefit or overseas aid, and doing something about poverty or CO2, or clamping down on racism. ‘Cos then it’s on the right side. But if the Church starts objecting to abortion, that’s a no -no. Then we need a “Have Your Say” about whether the Church should stay out of politics.”


  3. archduke says:

    he has a point though. for too long, england’s liberal abortion laws have allowed Ireland to ignore the issue – they ship over hundreds of females to the abortion centres in england each year.

    abortion is still banned in ireland – because the english NHS will take care of it.

    being a bit tougher on it will make Ireland wake up to the problem – right now it gets dusted under the NHS carpet.


  4. bob says:

    “Should the BBC intervene in politics?” Send us your tributes (err… ‘views’)


  5. IiD says:

    That’s a very good point archduke-although I think we might share a different point view on it.

    But Lee Moore is right,that the likes of Bruce Kent are allowed to babble on endlessly is neither here or there as long as they are “progressive” issues…..


  6. will says:

    Well done Lee Moore getting your comment onto HYS. But your view was swamped by the blind lefty anti-religionists. I was particularly struck by the c100 recommendations for a post which demanded the end of charitable status for religious organisations, these recommenders not noticing that the main activity (& main expenditure) of many charities is acting as political pressure groups.


  7. garypowell says:

    Not so clever propagander if ever there was such a thing. Especially from a state funded media organisation that proports to be “impartial.”

    Which as the BBC, according to certain TV poll taxed paid appologists for the BBC, spends so much time and effort brainwashing, sorry, re-educateing, sorry, ensuring its BBCs journalists do not show any political moral or spiritual bias of any type whatsoever. Should make all this seem quite unbelieveable, to say the least.

    However this type of not so clever propagander from the BBC is no longer, unbelieveable incedible or in the least bit unusuel.

    (You have to be so carefull these days not to overstate your case, or you may go on someones LIST of crazy people, who SO obviously do not have the slightest idear what they are talking about.

    Because you never know what type of people may get hold of such a list, and we all should know what somebody somewhere someday could do with that type of LIST.

    If I was the working at the BBC I would have people watching the internet and news papers very carefully compileing lists of people I can marginalise and patronise. Or those who do not think in the ” BBCs politically correct way.” Untill they either shut up, give up, or simply leave the country.

    But then the BBC are so obviously doing this already, my contribution to their unwitting authoratarian socialist empire building would not be required.)

    Educational standards and the shear amount of people now employed at the BBC makes it increasingly difficult for them to keep to their propagander up to its usual high covert standard.

    Aunties slip is now often showing.

    However the BBC seem to have so much unchallenged power and influence these days they dont even care if you can see all the way up to their transparent knickers.


  8. wimblemong says:

    You can’t complain about “Educational standards” when your own post displayed some very bad grammar and spelling. Please note:

    “appologists”, try apologists.

    “re-educateing”, try re-educating.

    It’s Propaganda, not “propagander”.

    “high covert standard”. Are you sure you mean covert here? I think you might be thinking of another word.

    The following sentence is a treasure:

    “However this type of not so clever propagander from the BBC is no longer, unbelieveable incedible or in the least bit unusuel”.

    All in all, a good post.


  9. bob says:

    We’ve been telling Gary about this for years. Perhaps JR cd share some of his Eton & Trinity learning with him? Altogether now: “Jolly boating whether (err, thatis WEATHER….”


  10. garypowell says:

    Listen stupid my educational standards are not in question. I am a self employed self educated business man not a public servant costing you anything whatsoever, or trying to protect my living. I do not expect the BBC to be offering me a job any time soon neither would I want or require one with them if they did.


  11. Rueful Red says:

    “Hey, making bries”


  12. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:

    gary powell:

    Gary, look, probably quite a few of us on occasion have kept a blank Word doc open to enable a copy-and-paste spell-check job before posting. It has certainly saved me from a few howlers over the months.

    Try it!


  13. bodo says:

    Hmm, never seen these questions applied to other religions; eg ‘Should muslims intervene in politics’.


  14. jg says:

    “kept a blank Word doc open to enable a copy-and-paste spell-check job before posting”

    or just get firefox with one built in (so useful)


  15. archduke says:

    ” bodo | 01.06.07 – 2:35 pm ”

    good point.


  16. Jon says:

    ‘Should muslims intervene in politics’.

    Maybe the BBC don’t seem the need to remind us that Islam is not a religion it is a political movement.


  17. Jon says:

    wimblemong – try addressing the issues that garypowell makes and not the way he makes it – maybe then you will be allowed into polite society.


  18. garypowell says:

    Sorry, far too old for that type of thing. It also has the flavour of putting hair pieces on your bald patch, or being a Labour MP these days.

    If people cant deal with a well thought out opinion without resorting to grammar school boy tactics. They have more of an educational problem then I have ever had. There is far more to having an education then getting a useless bit of paper for doing and thinking what other people want you to. Spelling and grammar or knowing how to use a spell checker has as much to do with gaining an education as a CSE grade 3 in metal work does to building Concord.


  19. Dom says:

    If you want to express a personal opinion on the subject why dont you just post on HYS rather than on this site?



  20. archduke says:

    i cudent giv a ratz ars a bout de way garypowell spellz hiz wurds.


  21. Ultraviolets says:

    Sorry, far too old for that type of thing. It also has the flavour of putting hair pieces on your bald patch, or being a Labour MP these days.

    If people cant deal with a well thought out opinion without resorting to grammar school boy tactics. They have more of an educational problem then I have ever had. There is far more to having an education then getting a useless bit of paper for doing and thinking what other people want you to. Spelling and grammar or knowing how to use a spell checker has as much to do with gaining an education as a CSE grade 3 in metal work does to building Concord.”

    I second this.


  22. xlr says:

    “Sorry, far too old for that type of thing. It also has the flavour of putting hair pieces on your bald patch, or being a Labour MP these days.”

    hear hear gary


  23. archonix says:

    If you want to express a personal opinion on the subject why dont you just post on HYS rather than on this site?


    I like the assumption that nobody has tried this already. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to cover this one. Where’s Reith? At least he has cogent arguments.


  24. garypowell says:

    ‘John Reith’ may sometimes give cogent arguments, but they scare me more then the questions.

    He is extreamly selective on what he replies too. ‘JR’ uses BBC thought police training in his language in a way that should frighten the crap out of any non-BBC trained thought police non-brainwashed normal member of the state media abused public.

    The seeming fact that he cant seem to accept that this is the effect he has on quite normal people even when I for one and many others keep telling him so. Only makes me spend more time on the toilet, praying to whatever god I can think of, everytime I read his comments.

    One thing that he still has not answered, which to me is a more of an important question then it may seem.

    (This because it may proove what a BBC trained lier ‘JR’ really is. Or that ‘JR’ is in fact a combination of several people working at the BBC and not a single human entity at all, and never was one either.)


    John Reith are you still a Conservative voter?

    Because he once stated he was a CONSERVATIVE VOTER, and yet has not since given even a small clue that he has any idear what a Conservative or even a conservative is. Even less that he could have possibly voted for such a political party in his entire life.

    4 times I have asked him and still he has ignored this simple, one word answer, question.

    Although if John Reith could lower himself to answer a simple question from this “swivel eyed iliterate, and obvious member of the BNP and the Klue Clux Clan on heat.” A few supplementary questions may follow, like.

    If the answer to the question is NO.

    Then I would like to ask. Why have you changed your voting behavior, and was it since you joined the BBC?

    If the answer is YES. Then I would like to ask. Why do you vote for a political party that you obviously still dont have even the slightest idear about?

    If he continues to refuse to answer the first question. I think we can all draw our own conclusions.


  25. john says:

    I once remember JR saying that he doesn’t work for the BBC but has a financial interest in it. Maybe a PR company that needs to look after its brand? JRs sensitivities towards the BNP are legion, IMO that’s not so indicative of a radical conservative mentality.

    Such political knee-jerk responses generally come from lefty political bigots who fancy they already have some Archimedean position from which to view the political stage and can pronounce boldly.

    It’s all the more remarkable when we hear such bias, from the lips of the entire BBC org (Andrew Marr a good example) they too think they have some Archimedean vantage point from which to judge. They don’t, of course, that’s why they often sound so pretentious and biased.

    Withholding judgement in political affairs was once the cherished credo of BBC impartiality. Nowadays, I really think they have no time for the true study of politics, or, of any impartial approach to the nature of political parties. The BBC is in rapid decline, it has about as much relevance as Freud- that dinosaur in the history of ideas., still taken seriously by many • but science has stopped listening.
    Paxmann sounds cynically bored most of the time, the studios resemble musical chairs. That QT provides chairs to the same people passes them by. They are all world weary and on the ship of a media Titanic- in their hearts they must know it. Like the property boom bubble waiting for it to collapse.
    It’s rather like expecting one of their flag-ship interviewers Jonathan Ross to possess a sense of moral decency. The short period from Reith to Ross has seen the BBC degenerate to the level of asking politicians on TV if they have ever masturbated thinking of Margaret Thatcher. No opprobrium for Ross of course, just a few more millions for him. Compare Ross’ treatment with that UKIP BBC interviewer.


  26. An observer says:

    I would love to read Julie “Ten Abortions” Burchill’s take on this. Where is she employed now?


  27. dave t says:

    Living in Scotland I see the way that the NuLabour gangs have spent years controlling some councils (Central Belt in the main) due to the Catholic vote and similarly in other areas thanks to the Protestant/Orange vote. And then we have SNPers many of whom are also Catholic and living in the Highlands and Islands who ignore the Church teaching…. maybe we should bring back the Spanish Inquisition…

    I am a left footer but don’t go to church after being bored to death whilst at Catholic Boarding School. If you want to practice a religion you should obey the rules as laid down by that religion or leave it.

    (Mind you, it is a good thing lapsed Catholics don’t get the same treatment as in another religion who like to chop off your head if you don’t follow their rules!)

    I now await the Chief Rabbi’s views, the Chief Iman’s etc etc on abortion or other matters to see how they are dealt with by the BBC! Then again the top Imans all comment regularly on Iraq etc without a HYS on “Imans getting involved in politics – should they be allowed to?” 8-0

    PS: And of course we all know about that highly religious group called the IRA, good Catholics all (apart from 2IC Belfast brigade who was a Protestant…) many of whom had mistresses on the go as well as wives!

    I often wonder what happened to the former Ops Officer 2nd “Battalion” Belfast Brigade in 1992. We ‘accidentally’ let slip to his wife at a VCP once about the girlfriend and the two sprogs he’d had by ‘Lilo Lill’. Her tyres were smoking as she headed home to Anderstontown!


  28. john says:

    I now await the Chief Rabbi’s views, the Chief Iman’s etc etc on abortion or other matters to see how they are dealt with by the BBC! Then again the top Imans all comment regularly on Iraq etc without a HYS on “Imans getting involved in politics – should they be allowed to?”

    dave t good point. I listened to BBC Any Questions the other day and Tom McNaulty revealed that he was “born and raised a Catholic”. George Monbiot uttered scathing contempt for religion and the mediaevalists. Its amazing how so many on the Liberal-Left willingly draw their guns and start shooting at Popes or Archbishops, etc., but when it comes to the Religion of Islam they are silent as lambs.

    All the talk of multiculturalism by the BBC, of ethnic diversity, etc., but we didnt hear the views of one Muslim on Abortion or the views of an Iman. All we get is an Anti-Christian tirade.
    The only consolation is that listening to the likes of Monbiot we can only presume that they also feel the same about the religion of peace, the same “women-hating” principles rule. “All religions” we heard him say on the BBC launching into his rant. One can only presume that the BBC are scared of appearing ISLAMOPHOBIC by inviting Muslim representatives on to say that they are Anti-Abortion. At such moments the BBCs Bias is so very clear, and one of the reasons it is held in contempt by so many people.

    Another point, the fact that we have Bishops in the House of Lords voting makes the whole debate on the religion/politics difference quite absurd. Even more so if a longer historical view is adopted.


  29. “One can only presume that the BBC are scared of appearing ISLAMOPHOBIC by inviting Muslim representatives on to say that they are Anti-Abortion.”

    Not quite! Muslims oppose abortion for muslims but are easy-going about other groups aborting themselves into oblivion. Put it like this: if westerners ceased aborting, our birth rate would rise, and the muslim demographic takeover would be jeopardised.


  30. Anonymous says:

    the views of a Pakistani born Bishop that the BBC would not give an airing to:


  31. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    Ladies, Gentlemen,
    you miss the point of the Brutish Broadcasting Creeperation’s ever-serviceable anti-Catholicism. It is lining up behind the Governmnent’s bully-boys, who are planning to imitate their royal predecessor Fat Murderer – sorry, Henry VIII – by indulging in a vicious smash and grab in the service of their own sexual manias. Notice that this statement of official British policy on education has been carefully kept out of the British press:


  32. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    British Catholic Schools Targetted For Refusing to Implement School “anti-homophobic” Bullying Policies
    Prominent gay activist group says “Catholic Church should be stripped of its educational establishments”

    By Hilary White

    Catholic schools in Britain are under attack by the government at the urging of homosexual lobbyists for refusing to bow to pressure to implement “anti-homophobic” bullying policies in schools. A report by a Commons Select Committee to the Department for Education and Skills singles out Catholic schools for refusing to implement regulations.

    Education Secretary Alan Johnson told gay activists that the government is preparing guidelines for schools to address what was identified in the report as “faith-based” homophobic bullying. At a meeting with Stonewall, the gay lobby group that brought about the notorious Sexual Orientation Regulations passed earlier this year, Johnson told activists that he hopes to make a presentation at the group’s upcoming conference in July.

    The report, published March 27, recommends that the Department “introduces a requirement for schools to record all incidents of bullying along with information about the type of bullying incident.”

    The British government is explicitly collaborating with the homosexual movement in aiming at the Catholic Church’s stand against sexual immorality. In preparation for the report that will inform the guidelines, the Department of Skills and Education commissioned research from Stonewall into “faith-based” bullying in schools.

    In a committee hearing, Jim Knight, Minister of State for Schools accused the Catholic Church of “faith-based bullying”. “Whatever the setting,” Knight said, “whatever the ethos, whoever the external partner to a school might be, school might be, if they have got one, be it the Catholic Church or anybody else. We should not tolerate bullying in any from, we should not tolerate people not respecting the difference that people have and I think that applies to homophobic bullying.”

    The bullying issue is being used openly as a wedge issue to attack Catholic and other faith-based institutions. Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) says, “Such is the level of homophobia in the Catholic Church that its schools should be taken from it and returned to the community sector.”

    GALHA’s secretary George Broadhead said, “We’ve seen homophobia in Catholic circles rising at a terrifying rate over the past few months. The Pope is almost hysterical on the topic and the British Catholic hierarchy is constantly agitating to retard gay rights. What chance have gay pupils got in schools which are run by an organisation that hates them?”

    “For the sake of these children and for the community at large which should be protected from the promotion of bigotry in schools, the Catholic Church should be stripped of its educational establishments.”

    Stonewall is the UK’s most successful homosexual lobby group, having hosted Prime Minister Tony Blair at its victory banquet after the passage of the SOR’s.

    Read related coverage:
    UK Secularists and Gays Demand Marginalization of Christians

    British PM Blair Celebrates Passage of Sexual Orientation Regulations at Homosexual Activist Banquet


  33. BaggieJonathan says:


    Would it really have made any difference if Henry VIII had been magro instead of grasso?


  34. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    BaggieJonathan: he started as a pleasant, attractive and handsome young knight. His disgusting final shape was a mere symptom of his intellectual, moral and religious degeneracy: his physical greed was as far out of control as his other lusts. The only thing that excuses the monster is that he may have been an early victim of siphylis, whose effects on the mind are well known.


  35. Anonymous says:

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
    Our chief weapons are……….


  36. BaggieJonathan says:


    In fairness the terrible sores he suffered with, especially on his legs, in addition to the syphillis (it would appear they were not from syphillis) prevented him exercising for most of the second half of his life.
    When this was added to the king’s expected feasting lifestyle (plenty of other monarchs had similar) it was no surprise he ended up with such corpulence.
    Other monarchs grew huge like George IV, William IV or William the Conqueror.
    Weight seems unrelated to their capacity for tyrrany and/or incompetance, otherwise King John, William Rufus, Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI, Mary I and Charles I would have been the largest of monarchs along with Henry VIII, they weren’t.


  37. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    BAggieJonathan: none of the kings you list were remotely comparable to the Fat Murderer in cruelty, greed and ruinousness. John Lackland, the worst of the lot, was mainly ill-advised and suffering from a sorry belief in his own political brilliance. Richard II was a spoiled and helpless kid, Edward II a nonentity between stronger wills, Edward VI a sad victim (though he built Eton and the glorious chapel of St.John at Cambridge), Mary I a target of historical propaganda, Charles I a man out of touch with his country (like all the Stuarts). Only William Rufus counts as a true tyrant, and he repented and called St. Anselm back.


  38. BaggieJonathan says:


    You make some very valid points.

    However to defend myself I did say tyranny and/or incompetance, I agree that perhaps some of them were much more of the incompetant variety.

    John was the worst of them all in his combination of greed, tyranny, moral repugnance and incompetance.
    You are too kind to his memory.
    I have to say I find him without redeeming feature.
    I can’t be accused of bias in a way at least as I have done my family research and proved I am descended from John through more than one line (though not from Henry).
    His getting of the whole country excommunicated was the most monumental of a whole series of blunders.
    Henry VIII was more competant than John, it doesn’t say much though does it.

    I hardly think there is defence for Rufus, though you do acknowledge as much.

    I do heartily approve of ecumenicalism between christian denominations and I accept there was historical propaganda against Mary but I am afraid there were many tyrannical acts, maybe not unusual for the time, but they were still there.

    Edward II was more incompetant than tyrant, same for Henry VI (I said Henry not Edward he was only a boy).

    Most disputed is Charles I.
    But the simple fact is no other monarch has
    -Declared war on his own people (he raised his standard at Nottingham)
    -Waged terrible civil war, twice,
    -and ended up being deposed, executed and leading to the kingdom to being a republic for the only time in its history.
    No mean feat!


  39. Rueful Red says:

    But, by way of contrast, Charles II was as in touch with his people as any monarch has been before or since. Even kept religious neutrality in the matter of his mistresses.

    Think it was King’s that Edward VI built the chapel of at Cambridge, St John’s was a later foundation.


  40. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    Rueful Red: perhaps you are unaware of the secret Treaty of Dover, in which Charles II pledged to bring in French troops to suppress his own people and incidentally step on their Protestantism. The treaty eventually fails, but it throws a most ugly light on a king who, after all, modelled himself after the tyrannical kings of France.

    BaggieJonathan – as one member of an ancient family to another, congratulations. What I meant by John having a sorry reliance on his own judgement is that he always misled himself – rejecting good advice, breaking pledged words, violating the rule of law. He always thought he had good reasons. At least, where William Rufus is concerned, we have to remember that he was the heir of the most brutal usurpation in the whole history of Britain, and that he had no choice but to rule as the Bastard had done – nastily.


  41. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    This is fun. Within about two posts, we have moved from my suspicion that the current government aims to nationalize Catholic schools for reasons connected with promoting buggery, to a discussion of the morality of mostly medieval English kings. If anyone wants to know how the Internet works, here it is exemplified.


  42. BaggieJonathan says:

    With Charles II you never knew for certain if his secret catholicism was real or not, he took the French money but only ‘fully converted’ on his deathbed.

    His brother James II on the other hand was quite ready to openly profess his catholicism and love of all things French.

    As for mistresses James also outdid Charles’ womanising, which is saying something, as James had a truly voracious sexual appetite (doesn’t say a lot for either’s ‘devout’ catholic faith).
    I can only think of Genghis Khan and the emperor Xin who were rulers known as a fact to be more ‘prolific’.

    But then Charles II had at least some common sense something his father and brother seemed singularly lacking of.


  43. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    BaggieJonathan – you should read Monsignor Knox on why you can be a sinner and still a Catholic. Especially when you have the sexual opportunities of a king – someone who has half the women in the kingdom practically shoved at him. In the time of the Stuarts, it would have taken a saint – which neither brother was – to reject temptation.


  44. BaggieJonathan says:

    Charles I, their father, always rejected said temptations in favour of monogamy.

    He had many other faults, and he was not catholic, but did that resistance make him worthy of canonisation?


  45. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    Charles I is canonized in the Anglican Church, I would say. And with all his fault, he died a martyr’s death – which is generally regarded as wiping out sin. The Catholic Church does not canonize anyone who is not a member, although it admits that members of other churches or none may reach Heaven.

    This is getting a bit nitpicky. Shall we go back to the business of the BBC and British government being, er, unfriendly to the Christian religion?