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Serious questions in Anglicanism.

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Many had expected the current Archbish and Primate of All England to be a braver man than his predecessor

Yet he says the election of a lesbian, Rev Mary Glasspool, as an assistant bishop in Los Angeles raises "very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole."

Indeed it does. Here are some of them:
  • Is Anglicanism generally a tolerant faith, or a faith for homophobes?
  • Will the Archbish personally side with the loving and tolerant, or with the conservative haters?
  • Is there even a God? 
Sorry, that last one isn't specific to this situation. 

Back on topic, it appears the answers go like this. Churches which celebrate same-sex relationships as part of the spectrum of happy human life risk the Communion, but those churches who support laws to jail gays and lesbians for life have to be pandered to. 

Ordinarily non-Christians like me should stay right out of theological disputes, but this is an issue with grave real-life consequences, and fence-sitting by the Primate is unacceptable when gays and lesbians find themselves under such threats.

If he wants to see how it should be done, these Unitarians aren't doing full weddings for anyone until they can do full weddings for everyone. If Jesus were suddenly to appear out of nowhere I think I know which kind of church he'd be heading to.
MarkThomas.gifMark Thomas is currently touring his Manifesto, and it's a great show. The concept is simple. Each night members of the audience suggest policies they like, and then they choose between the submissions. 

It's a "guided democracy", taking account of his preferences. All the ones about hanging go in the bin, apart from the Hanging Register. Only supporters of hanging are hanged when they screw up - ingenious.

He then campaigns on some of the policies his audiences pick. Some are semi-sensible: he's got a team from NEF working on a kind of SATs-type scoring system for MPs. Others seem absurd, but have a serious point. I'm annoyed about tax evasion, but not convinced that invading Jersey to go and get it back is the right answer. Still, protesting outside the MoD with INVADE JERSEY is certainly imaginative. Even making Parliament play the Benny Hill theme if it all kicks off has a kind of perverse sense to it.

We saw it last night, and tonight's was the final show in Edinburgh. Except for one more extra-special one - he's putting all thirteen submissions from Edinburgh to a cross-party panel of MSPs, including Patrick Harvie of this parish. It should be a good gig.

Personally I'd like to see him stand for election himself. If Al Franken can stand and win, so can Mark Thomas. He's swum Douglas Hogg's infamous moat. We've given him the policies. He's ready.

The Go Away Birds.

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My friend Cath plays in a band of this name, and it is my great pleasure to host their site on my server. Go and have a listen to the new EP on their site, and check out the famous duettist on one of the tracks.


What would the Doctor keep?

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walkerlibrary.jpgChatting to Patrick last night, we agreed that this extraordinary collection could easily be the Earth Room from the Doctor's Tardis museum. I do hope Jay Walker leaves it to the good people of Connecticut in his will. 

Obviously not every public library or museum could have an original Sputnik in it, but they could use a little of this passion for science and culture. It makes me even more sad about what's been done to Kelvingrove.


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In case anyone at conference was wondering why I looked distracted this weekend, it's because I had this specific song as an earworm. It's DJ Zebra mixing Shaggy and Rage Against The Machine, in case you're not down enough with the kids to tell that straightaway.

Of punks and populists.

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swinney.jpgLast night, in the space of three hours, this blog received comments from two unlikely sources. 

First, the bassist of short-lived punk band Nocturnal Vermin set out more of their history, what they're doing now, and confirmed their affection for John Swinney. 

Then one of the founders of the short-lived right-wing political party Scottish People's Alliance criticised Land Value Tax. 

I do love the internet at times like this, and to mark the occasion I'm going dig out Nocturnal Vermin's classic "John Swinney" for your listening pleasure. I originally posted it in February, and I fear it may become my audio equivalent of Private Eye's infamous pic.

Also, here's a review by Alan Cochrane of the Scottish People's Alliance's launch in 2003. Or at least of their catering.

Bored over recess?

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orwell.jpgDon't be. From the 9th of August, The Orwell Prize will be posting George Orwell's diary to this blog, each entry exactly seventy years after he wrote it. I've always loved his diaries and essays more than any aspect of his writing, so this is perfect.

Oh, and if you get hooked, the last item was written in 1942, so by the time this finishes we'll be into the next Holyrood session. Charge your RSS feed, ladies and gentlemen. 

Thanks to Murray for the tip, and here's a sample essay - You and the Atomic Bomb.

goodmayor.jpgAndy Nicoll, the Sun's bearded pard and former lumberjack, defies the stereotypes many have of tabloid journalists. It may be the case that he's had to rein in his desire to use long words in his day-job, but he's saved them all up for his new book.

For instance, the first page includes "capriciousness", "coalescing", "cartographers" and "commandeered", as well as some other long words that don't begin with the letter "c". A review copy of which fell into our hands via a charity shop, one day before the official release, you see.

Perhaps a reader of his column had expected something more tabloid.

Anyway, a fuller review will follow in due course. I told Andy I'd try to read it all over my lunchbreak, but I've only managed the first page. Sorry. You can buy it here from tomorrow.

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Along with Jeff (formerly SNP Tactical Voting) and Malc (formerly In The Burgh), I now co-edit Better Nation, a group blog. Stuff will still appear here, but more will be there. Better Nation

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Culture category.

Conservation is the previous category.

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