17 Responses to Disproportionate lack of influence.

  1. chevalier de st george says:

    THere is no doubt that if a programme alleged than Islam exerted undue influence on american society, this would be instantly recognised as “racist” .
    yet when christian or jews are accused of this, it generates “serious” consideration.


  2. la marquise says:

    A history programme on Radio4 this morning styled the catholic martyr St Edmund Campion as a ‘radical cleric’ , ie the Abu Hamza of his day. Is this a case of the BBC eating it’s pro-Islamic cake and having it’s anti-Christian one?


  3. la marquise says:

    Ahh! escaped apostrophe alert! can’t someone catch them and return them to captivity ……sorry


  4. john b says:

    How is a priest who dies because he’s trying to forcibly convert the country to his religion *not* a radical cleric? The reason the BBC compared the two situations is because they share some significant similarities, not to make us love Abu Hamza.


  5. Roxana Cooper says:

    John B let me give you a little history: Edmund Campion was not trying to ‘forcibly’ convert England back to Catholicism but to minister to English Catholics whose religious practice had been outlawed.

    To the best of my knowledge none of the Douai priests were implicated in any of the plots against Elizabeth and no Catholic conspirators made a practice of murdering people at random – unlike modern Islamic ‘Militants’.

    Unfortunately for the Catholic population of England and the priests trying to minister to them the then Pope’s ‘fatwa’ against Elizabeth automatically made all Catholics, especially members of the hierarchy, suspect though most if not all were innocent of anything beyond a desire to practice their religion.


  6. Roxana Cooper says:

    Edmund Campion himself did *nothing* but say mass and administer the sacrements until caught. Queen Elizabeth, who knew him personally and had little taste for religious persecution, tried to make a deal with him but since it involved attending a Church of England service Campion felt he had to refuse and so was executed according to the law.

    It is perhaps worthy of mention that the English victory over the Armada was cheered by the English students at Douai. Not exactly the reaction one would expect of men who put religion over country.


  7. la marquise says:

    Thank you Roxana Cooper. I would only add that ‘conservative cleric’ would be a much more appropriate appellation for St Edmund Campion but the BBC (and john b I expect) would be much more inclined to use that for Abu Hamza et al.


  8. john b says:

    So you’re claiming Campion wasn’t sent back to Engliand by the Jesuits in order to convert Anglicans as part of the Papal campaign against Elizabeth? I guess that’s a perspective…

    (incidentally, whether the Catholic Reformation counts as conservative or radical is a fairly moot point; it can coherently be described as either).


  9. john b says:

    (incidentally, does writing a book slating the Anglican faith count as saying mass, or as administering the sacraments?)


  10. Michael Gill says:

    “The reason the BBC compared the two situations is because they share some significant similarities”

    Now what might those be? How can anyone equate Campion and Abu Hamza, which is exactly what the BBC does when it refers to Campion in the same way it describes Abu Hamza (“radical cleric”)?


  11. Roxana Cooper says:

    “So you’re claiming Campion wasn’t sent back to Engliand by the Jesuits in order to convert Anglicans as part of the Papal campaign against Elizabeth? I guess that’s a perspective…”

    No it’s fact. Any attempt at prosletyzing would have speedily landed the priest in prison and was not attempted. The Douai priests’ contacts were with old Catholics who wanted to worship in their own way and could only do so in secret. That’s why some old English houses have ‘priest holes’ Campion and his like had to be hidden – his fate shows what happened when they were unsuccessful.

    The Pope’s ‘campaign’ against Elizabeth involved assorted harebrained assassination plots *not* an attempt at reconverting the Island.

    I should perhaps say that I am not a Catholic, or even a Christian, just a Tudor history enthusiast.


  12. Roxana Cooper says:

    P.S.: I too would be very interested in hearing some of those similarities, John B.

    And it’s the Catholic ‘Counter-reformation’ a conservative reaction to the ‘radical’ Protestant Reformation.


  13. la marquise says:

    Perhaps the BBC can patent a new party game ‘Jaw-Droppingly Specious Parallels’ so far I’ve come up with:
    artistic, sexually confused and obsessed with blood-sports – the Emperor Nero and Siegfried Sassoon
    – beret-wearing mummy’s boys Frank Spencer and Che Guevara
    – South African born tree-huggers J RR Tolkien and Laurens van der Post
    – vegetarian critics of the British Empire Hitler and Gandhi
    (- I come unstuck with Eva Peron and the Empress Theodora parallel not specious enough)

    More marks are awarded for suppressio veri than for suggestio falsi.


  14. john b says:

    I notice you haven’t addressed Campion’s book of anti-Anglican proselytizing.

    The similarities are as above – they’re radical clerics who’re jailed because they want to destroy the current order for religious reasons, and who are allied with shady foreign forces who’re plot to kill people.


  15. Roxana Cooper says:

    Anti-Protestant/Anti-Catholic books were par for the course at the time see Martin Luther, Calvin, et-al. and falls well short of advocating indiscriminant murder as modern Islamicists do.

    Campion was *not* trying to destroy the government of England despite the Pope declaring open season on Queen Elizabeth. Campion killed no one during his time in England nor did he advocate killing anybody. In his final interview with Elizabeth Campion readily acknowledged that she was his lawful queen, so much for trying to overturn the government. Elizabeth herself did not regard Campion as a threat to her crown and tried hard to persuade him to accept a compromise that would have saved his life.


  16. Roxana Cooper says:

    I mentioned English seminarians’ cheering the news of England’s victory over the Armada to demonstrate that even those Catholics actively involved in promoting their faith in England did not support a foreign conquest of their country.

    It was hard bordering on impossible to disintangle religion from politics in those days – especially with a Pope who acted like Khomeni – but English Catholics did their best. They may have supported Mary Queen of Scots – who had a legitimate claim to the English throne – but definitely did *not* support a Spanish conquest.

    There were indeed Catholic inspired plots against Elizabeth’s life but Edmund Campion was not involved in any of them. Nor did any of these plotters advocate the indiscriminate muder of civilians as a tactic for political change.


  17. Michael Gill says:

    Anti-Anglican proselytizing? Yes • that sure makes Campion on a par with, say, Moqtada Sadr the leader of an armed insurrection. Or, that other “radical cleric” Abu Hamza, jailed at present and facing eleven charges including hostage-taking and trying to set up a terrorist training camp in the US.

    And of course, comparing a modern, democratic state that has universal suffrage that Hamza would like to see overthrown with Tudor England is justified as well I suppose?

    Anyone who likens Campion to Abu Hamza is off their rocker.

    On a similar note • strange how inputting “radical cleric Abu Hamza” or just “radical cleric” as search strings in Google returns BBC web pages at the top of the list.