Whilst immersed in a translation of the philosophical underpinnings of Freudian psychoanalysis (talk about Jewish stereotypes here!), dealing with such gems as
the symbolism of the elbow'.
'the theory of ego autonomy'
awareness of inner experience in child abuse and neglect'
I decided to pop out to the letter box and see if the post had arrived.
To my great delight, both the
had arrived together - and not a bill in sight! Surely this was symbolic of progress in religious dialogue, I thought. Because Britain still has that
Act of Settlement
which bars an heir to the throne from marrying a Catholic (but not a Jew, Hindu, Muslim, moonie or atheist).
There was my own article in the Church Times, entitled
Why the Roots of Zionism Matter
with a caption from the paper itself underneath the photo of the Archbishop of Canterbury flanked by the two Chief Rabbis of Israel: 'Speaking candidly'.
No-one could accuse the
of being pro Israel, but .... You never know, greater miracles have happened before. And the professionalism of the particular editor who deals with me is a miracle in itself. She is almost saintly in her patience!
Was it really only two years ago to the day that I penned that other article for them:
Anglicans have betrayed the Jews
which aroused the fury of the
Council of Christians and Jews
who stated in a letter to the paper that I didn't know what I was talking about because I wasn't in the interfaith business.... Oh dear!
They damn themselves out of their own mouths, sometimes.
But that is, hopefully, all behind us, for the same person who attacked me for citing how the Jewish community really felt about the Church of England was now a member of the team which visited israel a month ago. It's all in the post, above.
OK, Friday's Church Times also had
Vicar of Putney
(and therefore upper middle class at least) and lecturer in
(not a nice man: have studied him in depth myself) at
(practically aristocratic then)
saying that HMG should be talking to Hamas. Dear Giles dismisses suicide bomb attacks against Israel as of very minor concern, because
'no peace will ever come without a willingness to sit around a table and talk'.
But this is exactly what Hamas has refused to do in the case of Israel. And, according to
Canon Andrew White
who knows a great deal more about the Middle East than Giles (who is a bit of an ivory-towered bruiser, to be honest), not only will Hamas not sit down with Israelis: they won't even sit down with anyone who is Jewish at all. Plus, their charter states that they want to wipe us off the face of the earth, and oh yes,
Sir Martin Gilbert
who is a proper academic - and historian to boot - has stated that
Hamas are like the Nazis
and should be dealt with accordingly.
But let Tony Blair sit down with them if he wants, and earn the reputation of Neville Chamberlain: do we really care?
So then to
to which I had just penned a letter, strongly supporting the Catholic stance on the Act of Settlement question. My main argument is that Catholics are not the enemy: on the contrary, just like the Jews of Britain, they continue to be maligned, quite unjustifiably, and have made a contribution quite out of proportion to their small numbers - and I say that, even though I do come from Liverpool!
But, blow me down, what did we have in The Tablet today:
Victoria Combe on her friend's spiritual journey to Islam ... with her husband in prison under Spain's draconian terrorism laws
My goodness, is The Tablet really taking a suspected terrorist's side against a government which has really suffered from all types of terrorism - what is going on here?
But there was more:
on a certain
who is the son of a Presbyterian elder, no less!
could not reconcile Christianity with its Abrahamic origins and what we know about the lifestyle of Jesus
Come on, out with it then: what you mean is that Jesus was Jewish and Christianity - well - isn't!
But, no: that's not what Dawud meant at all.
It didn't make sense that Christians have no dietary restrictions, don't observe circumcision, have no oral law or religious case law.
Good lad! Definitely some rabbinic input here, you might think! Couldn't define Judaism better myself!
But, wait for it:
He admires the fact that Muslims are able to discuss Palestine, Israel and Zionism without "the cringing fear of being labelled 'anti-Semitic'" that afflicts Westerners. Also, he says that in theory, at least, Muslims celebrate sexuality and place a great deal of responsiblity on the husband pleasing his wife, which for Yacub contrasts with the love/hate attitude of other-wordly Christianity towards sex.
So there we have it:
Jesus the Muslim
As for the second part of this paragraph, it is so infantile that my real work, the translation, seemed totally relevant, somehow.
I don't know about
'the symbolism of the elbow'
but I certainly know some who would want to give him the elbow.
'the theory of ego autonomy',
I think that phrase speaks for itself. And finally, '
awareness of inner experience in child abuse and neglect':
This resonates, somehow. I wonder what type of childhood and adolescence he's had, poor thing. Because he may not realise it, but in the first part of the paragraph he has stated flatly and boldly, (and The Tablet has not thought to question it), that when Muslims are anti-Semitic, no-one dares say that to their face.
And this is probably one of the only true sentences in the whole entire anti-Christian and anti-Jewish diatribe, which for some reason The Catholic Tablet has seen fit to print in its pages.
For more Muslim thought,