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Charles Foster’s Posts

Lord Justice Nero?

There is
a shrill, unpleasant new sound in the UK church. It is the sound of
conservative Christians saying that they are persecuted. It’s the voice of a
minority. And as Rowan Williams trenchantly observed: ‘The Church of England is
like a swimming pool: all the noise comes from the shallow end.’ The claim of
persecution is an insult to the vast numbers of Christians in the world who really
are persecuted. Please read the Bible and the history books before going on
prime time TV to say that you’re persecuted. 

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The Christian Right is Wrong

An interesting document has just dropped into my in-box. It is a ‘Declaration of Christian Conscience’, to be found at

It is signed by a number of Christian leaders, all of them noted for their theological conservatism. Christians across the land are being urged to sign the declaration to demonstrate the demographic power of conservative Christianity.

Some of the lead signatories are my friends, and I agree with many of the principles articulated, but this document is a disaster. It will reduce significantly the ability of Christians to make a contribution to public life. And that’s a shame.

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Easing the passing: Death booths, misrepresentations and the ‘Ugh factor’

Death is in the air. To stop us being engulfed by the ‘silver
tsunami’,  Martin Amis urges the
construction of euthanasia booths, and encourages the elderly to go to them for
a martini, a medal and a pharmaceutical nudge into the void. Terry Pratchett
talks cosily about ‘shaking death by the hand’ as he sits on his lawn, Tallis
on his IPod, drinking some modern Socratic hemlock washed down with vintage
brandy. He and his backers in the euthanasia industry shrewdly propose death
tribunals who, having heard evidence about individual cases, would sign or
withhold a death warrant. Such tribunals, they say, would obviate the risk that
vulnerable people might opt unacceptably for euthanasia. The opinion polls
consistently indicate considerable public support for a change in the law
against assisted suicide. The opponents of assisted dying are caricatured as
reactionary bigots, probably fuelled by otiose, antediluvian religious
prejudice: people who care more about some dogma of the sanctity of life than
about pain, fear, despair and autonomy. The crusade for assisted dying is a
campaign by the modern and enlightened against the mediaeval  and  benighted.

Read More »Easing the passing: Death booths, misrepresentations and the ‘Ugh factor’