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June 24, 2007


Maynard Handley

"What's the second book of the Bible called?"

You might want to spend some time reading the sixth book of the bible, ie Joshua. It's all about the pretty damn ruthless conquest of the land of Israel, where at each town along the way everyone gets slaughtered: men, women and children. It's the original final solution.

Lord Carey has clearly actually read his Bible and imbibed the central message of the old testament which is that when you are the chosen people, all's fair in defence of your land and your society, as long as you praise god along the way. This is a very handy philosophy for many different situations, immigration being only one example.

You know: when someone like Dawkins criticizes religion, he is not just some nutter. He does actually know what he's talking about.


1. This smacks of an unfair attack on the parenting skills of people on benefits, which would be a grossly unfair generalisation.

2. Is it just me or has the Blair/Brown handover been a model of how to transfer power between leaders when in government?

chris strange

The bishop against migration is rather silly. Wouldn't restrictions on immigration also cause problems with people like his colleagues the Right Reverend John Sentamu, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, and the Right Reverend Wilfred Wood? Or perhaps he forgot about the benefit of open borders talked about in the gosspels themselves, the temporary emigration of Jesus of Nazareth's parents to avoid him being killed.

The second bishop might be rather less silly than he first looks. He says:
one of the parents should be given the incentive to stay at home and be paid a living wage, if they also commit themselves to voluntary work in the community.
Doesn't the church need a lot of volunary workers? And they would certainly be classified as working in the community should they work for they church. So effectively he wants the state to pay for extra workers for his organisation. Rent seeking is of course completely rational for the seeker (a rational Bishop, now there is a turn up for the books). On the other hand giving into it is irrational for the ones that will end up paying the bill, so I hope he gets short shrift.


"Instead, just ask: what are people doing having children if they can't raise them properly?"

Yes, but no-one knows if they can raise them properly until they've had them, do they? I've said it before but the JS Mill bit you quote here shows him at his po-faced worst. Bear in mind he wrote it before contraception was freely available: how are people supposed to exercise the, for him, 'responsible' choice of not having children? Never have sex? Get real.


"Instead, just ask: what are people doing having children if they can't raise them properly?"

Are rich professionals who dump their children in boarding schools whilst they pursue all-consuming careers raising their children properly?


JS MIll was a mighty and necessary thinker but tell me - when did he become God?

"John Stuart Mill was clear on this".

Isn't there the tiniest thought in anybody's mind that this might be a Chicken & Egg question? That having children might be a massive incentive to getting real, getting serious about earning money and understanding your responsibilities. That's what happened with me.


Ah yes, the old poor-people-should-be-celibate chestnut. Now that's a realistic policy position.

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