Thursday, August 29, 2013

Britain holds fire - for now

Today a recalled British Parliament was to decide (or not) to take part in a military strike against Syria in a bid to prevent further use of chemical weapons. 

Until teatime yesterday, after Labour leader Ed Miliband had said his party would not support military intervention until UN inspectors had completed their work, and a significant number of Conservative back-benchers - and some ministers - were of a mind to vote against immediate intervention. The Government then decided today's debate would go ahead, but a further vote before military action would be required after the UN inspectors' report, probably next week.

The UK had pushed for permanent members of the UN Security Council to authorise measures to protect civilians in Syria. Russia refused to agree.

US President Obama said he had concluded that Syrian government troops were responsible for the chemical weapons attack last week, but he had not finally decided what action to take.

The situation is fraught with difficulty. If there is no action, chemical weapons may continue to be used and thousands more may die. If military action is taken, it may start a fire throughout the Middle East. Syrian officials warn the entire Middle East would be set ablaze if Western forces intervene.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned the US not to attack. The Syrian Government has said if it is attacked it will retaliate by attacking Israel.

Syria is believed to have one of the largest chemical weapon arsenals in the world. There is concern it will have no problem in using them against Israel. Demands for gas masks quadrupled in Israel this week.

It is probable there will be no invasion of Syria, but that an attack would come with missiles fired at selected targets from ships outside Syrian waters. It would not be an attempt to depose Syria's President Assad, but to warn that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.

More than 100,000 have already died in Syria in two years of conflict.

No clear evidence has yet been produced that Assad was responsible for last week's gas attack. Britain and the US (and the Arab League) hold him responsible.

Britain is not capable of being the world's peacekeeper, critics say - and what are Syria's Muslim neighbours doing? A YouGov poll this week showed 60 per cent against a missile strike and 25 per cent in favour.

United Nations inspectors say Syria is becoming increasingly radicalised, with only a minority fighting for democracy and a state for all Syrians. Some groups have an openly Islamist agenda. The leader of the al Nusra Front, a prominent opposition group, has declared allegiance to the leader of al Qaeda.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Whose birthday?

Too early to be talking about Christmas? Perhaps not.

ChurchAds.Net, whose aim is to beat secularisation by reminding people about the meaning of Christmas, already has the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union and the United Reform Church on board.

It includes one fact on its website that stopped me in my tracks. More than one third of children don't know whose birthday Christmas celebrates. (And only 12 per cent of adults know the nativity story.) Can you imagine?

This year, instead of producing a wacky poster showing the Holy Family in a bus shelter or the Lord Jesus done up like Che Guevara, it is concentrating on a simple motto: Christmas starts with Christ.

I wish them well in their effort.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Christians attacked as churches burn

The number of churches attacked by Islamists in Egypt has reached 60, 70 or 80, depending on which accounts you read. According to one Christian commentator, it is the worst persecution of Christians in Egypt since 1321 (although you might not think so by the attention given it by the mainstream media).

Christians have been accused of conspiring to remove deposed President Morsi and of wanting to eradicate Islam and make Egypt a Christian country. Christian households, shops and businesses have been attacked.

Christians in Minya, Beni Suef, Fayoum and Assiut have received leaflets warning them of action if they don't leave. Christian homes in Minya have been marked with an 'X' to single them out for attack.

One monastery has been burnt. Those who burnt it said "This is now a mosque." A monastery in Degla failed to hold prayers last week for the first time in 1,600 years.

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, said: "The accounts I am getting from Christian leaders are the exact opposite of what we're  seeing in the media. What we have had are not only peaceful demonstrators, but the use of mosques as arsenals, with women and children being used as a shield. 

"This is a well known tactic of radical Islamists all over the world, so we shouldn't be surprised that it's being used also in Egypt."

In a Telegraph article, he writes: "Those who thought that the 'Arab Spring' was a harbinger of secular, Western-style democracy can now see it is nothing of the kind. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-led regime was headed inexorably towards a Sunni theocracy based on an unreconstructed imposition of Wahabbi-type Sharia. . .

"The radicals had promised that 'Egypt would burn' if they were removed from power. The churches certainly are burning. Some have been set alight and some have burned all night. . .

"There should be no compromise on the basic principle of one law for all, the equality of all before the law and respect for the common citizenship of all Egyptians."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A day worth waiting for

I spent a recent afternoon sitting in beautiful sunshine at the edge of a lake in the midst of peaceful countryside, wondering why people would want to shoot one another and blow themselves up.

I had been reading in the book of Revelation how things end up; how, while evil is finally vanquished, the faithful are at the marriage of the Lamb, dressed in robes they don't deserve.

I reckon Paul had it right:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing.  2 Tim 4:7, 8.
There's a lot of pain in the world, and a lot more pain to come. But there's a day coming when Christ will appear. His reward is with Him.

If you're feeling discouraged, hold on. That's a day worth waiting for.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Evolution versus God

Evolution and Christianity are incompatible.

Richard Dawkins, the high priest of Darwinian evolution, rejects every form of religion out of hand and believes evolution is the answer.

"There is no doubt in Dawkins's mind." writes Marilynne Robinson, "that the evils of the world are to be laid at the doorstep of the church, mosque and synagogue, and that science must be our salvation. . . It is the 'God delusion,' which has afflicted almost everyone almost everywhere through the whole of recorded time, that has made us behave so badly. And Science (by which he really means his version of Darwinism) is our potential rescuer. He has a simple-as-that, plain-as-day approach to the grandest questions, unencumbered by doubt, consistency, or countervailing information."

Consider Henry Morris, director of the Institute for Creation Research:

"The evolutionary system has been entrenched for so long that many people who otherwise accept the Bible as infallible have deemed it expedient to compromise on this issue. Thus, evolution has been called, 'God's method of creation'; and the Genesis record of the six days of creation has been reinterpreted in terms of the evolutionary ages of historical geology. These geological ages themselves have been accommodated in Genesis either by placing them in an assumed 'gap' between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 or by changing the 'days' of creation into the 'ages' of evolution.

"Theories of this kind raise more problems than they solve, however. It is more productive to take the Bible literally and then to interpret the actual facts of science within its revelatory framework. If the Bible cannot be understood, it is useless as revelation. If it contains scientific fallacies, it could not have been given by inspiration. . .

"All such theories which seek to accommodate the Bible to evolutionary geology are invalid and, therefore, should be abandoned. . .

"It is impossible to devise a legitimate means of harmonizing the Bible with evolution. We must conclude, therefore, that if the Bible is really the Word of God (as its writers allege and as we believe) then evolution and its geological age-system must be completely false. Since the Bible cannot be reinterpreted to correlate with evolution, Christians must diligently proceed to correlate the facts of science so with the Bible."

A video, Evolution vs God, has had hundreds of thousands of views and prompted thousands of comments in a short space of time on YouTube.

"Darwinian evolution has nothing," says evangelist Ray Comfort, who made the video by interviewing scientists who claimed to be atheists. "It's unprovable. It's unproven. It's unscientific. It's unsubstantiated, and there's not an ounce of evidence. It was just amazing to watch these four experts in their field groping and grasping like fish on a hot desert floor."

Watch the video for yourself. You can see it here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Doing away with the wrath of God

It's sad when churches begin to preach a powerless, ineffective, watered-down gospel.

The hymn In Christ Alone, by Irishman Keith Getty and Englishman Stuart Townend, has become a favourite with congregations on both sides of the Atlantic.

The hymnal committee of the Presbyterian Church USA wanted to include it in their new hymnal. But part of the second verse says

Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid -
Here in the death of Christ I live.

The committee wanted to  change "The wrath of God was satisfied" to "The love of God was magnified." They approached the hymn's authors, who declined to approve the alteration. The committee decided to drop the hymn from their new hymnal.  

Committee chairwoman Mary Louise Bringle wrote: "Arguments on the other side pointed out that a hymnal does not simply collect diverse views, but also selects to emphasize some over others as part of its mission to form the faith of coming generations; it would do a disservice to this educational mission, the argument ran, to perpetuate by way of a new (second) text the view that the cross is primarily about God's need to assuage God's anger. The final vote was six in favor of inclusion and nine against, giving the requisite two-thirds majority (which we required of all our decisions) to the no votes. The song has been removed from our contents list, with deep regret over losing its otherwise poignant and powerful witness."

Failing to recognise God's capacity for wrath can effectively trivialise God's power, said academic Timothy George. "God's love is not sentimental; it is holy. It is tender, but not squishy. It involves not only compassion, kindness and mercy beyond measure. . . but also indignation against injustice and unremitting opposition to all that is evil."

Someone pointed out that the committee's objections were scarcely in line with the Presbyterian Church USA's historic beliefs. The Westminster Confession in the current edition of the denomination's Book of Confessions says:
Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal and eternal. . .
The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up to God, hath fully satisfied the justice of His Father; and purchased not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him.
Mary Louise Bringle said later that people thought they had taken the wrath of God out of the hymnal. They hadn't; it was all over the hymnal. The issue was the word "satisfied."

Either way, it seems like the majority of the hymnal committee no longer believe in a substitutionary atonement.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The kindness of Anton Schmid

It's not clear whether Anton Schmid was a feldwebel - a sergeant - at the time, or whether he had already been commissioned. He was an Austrian from Vienna who had been drafted into the German Army during World War II. He was a quiet, thoughtful man.

He was stationed in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, during the months in 1942 when 80,000 Jews there were done to death. He would walk in Vilnius Ghetto and see the Jews, many of them starving to death. In his pockets would be hidden bottles of milk for Jewish babies, bread and medicines. He would carry messages from Jews outside the ghetto to Jews inside the ghetto.

Schmid was asked to help five Jews who planned to escape the ghetto and hide in the woods outside. He agreed. He was found out, arrested and court martialled. He wrote to his wife:
I must tell you what fate awaits me, but please, be strong when you read on. . . I have just been sentenced to death by a court martial. There is nothing one can do except appeal for mercy, which I've done. It won't be decided until noon, but I believe it will be turned down. I am resigned to my fate. It has been decided from Above - by our dear Lord - and nothing can be done about it. I am so quiet that I can hardly believe it myself... 

I must tell you how it happened. There were so many Jews here who were driven together by the Lithuanian soldiers and were shot on a meadow outside the city - from 2,000 to 3,000 people at one time. They always threw the small children against the trees - can you imagine? I had orders. . . to take over the versprengtenstelle [dispersal place] where 140 Jews worked. They asked me to get them away from here. I let myself be persuaded - you know I have a soft heart. . . 

It will be hard for you, my dear Stefi and Gertha, but forgive me: I acted as a human being, and didn't want to hurt anyone. When you read this letter, I will no longer be on this earth. I won't be able to write to you again. But be sure that we shall meet again in a better world with our dear Lord. . . 
Four days later, on April 13, Schmid was shot with the five Jews he tried to help. Two days later, the priest, with whom he had left his letter, forwarded it to his widow in Vienna. "I was with him in the last hours," he said. "He prayed and remained strong to the very end. His last wish was to tell you that you too must remain strong. . ."

It was not popular to help the Jews in those days. It still isn't. But the Jews are exceedingly precious to God, because of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God doesn't forget His promises. 

"They shall come with weeping,
And with supplications I will lead them.
I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters,
In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;
For I am a Father to Israel,
And Ephraim is my first-born"  Jer 31:9.

After the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, God will turn again to His Jewish people, and do whatever it takes to bring them to faith. He intends Israel to become a believing nation.

There is a blessing promised to the man who blesses Israel. But woe betide the man who persecutes the Jews.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Churches burn as hundreds die

After the Egyptian military attacked Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo, leaving several hundred dead and almost 3,000 injured, Muslim Brotherhood supporters took out their anger on Christian churches.

Asia News reported that Islamists had attacked seven Catholic churches and 15 religious buildings belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Protestant church.

One of Egypt's oldest churches, the fourth-century Church of the Virgin Mary in Minya, was destroyed by fire. A second church in Minya was ablaze. Muslim Brotherhood supporters threw firebombs at Mer Gergiss Church in Solag. It was destroyed.

As though expecting trouble, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II had called on all Egyptians to prevent bloodshed. "With all compassion I urge everyone to conserve Egyptian blood and ask of every Egyptian to commit to self-restraint and avoid recklessness and assault on any person or property," he wrote.

In vain. Christians have been victims of Muslim attacks for years - but this, activists said, was "the worst co-ordinated attack on Egypt's Coptic community in modern history." 

The Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic activist group, said churches, houses, monasteries, orphanages, schools and businesses belonging to Copts were attacked, "causing panic, loss and destruction for no reason and no crimes they had committed apart from being Christians."

Two "beautiful, fully equipped" Bible Society bookshops were destroyed. There was little or no police or military protection.

You would have thought a little restraint might have helped. But any excuse to attack Christians seems to be good enough.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Suffering for their faith

Egypt's Coptic Christians - there are said to have been Coptic Christians in Egypt for more than 2,000 years - are suffering. When the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi was overthrown in July, Islamists chose to blame the Christians.

Al Qaeda's Egyptian leader Ayman Zawahiri said the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in government was a "crusader" campaign led by Coptic Pope Tawadros II, whom he alleged was trying to form a Coptic state in Egypt.

Other Islamic leaders called for retribution against the Christians, and Muslims responded. Churches were attacked and badly damaged. Many are no longer holding regular services for fear of attack. Cars were set on fire. Homes and businesses owned by Christians were torched.
Many Christians fled their homes.  A Coptic priest was shot dead. A Christian man was found mutilated and beheaded. A 10-year-old girl was shot dead on her way home from a Bible class. There have been drive-by shootings and kidnappings.

Pope Tawadros cancelled his weekly sermons and is in hiding after death threats.

Twenty-two million people called for Morsi to be ousted. There are only eight million Christians all told. But blaming the Christians taps in to the feeling of contempt people have for non-Muslims and saves having to admit that Muslims wanted Morsi out too.

Remember those suffering for their faith.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mr Cameron gets in trouble - again

Prime Minister David Cameron got himself into trouble this week. In Darwen, of all places. He was taking part in a question-and-answer session.
 "What would your response to Jesus be on His instruction to us to sell all our possessions and give the proceeds to the poor?" he was asked. (We are not all instructed to sell all our possessions and give to the poor, which rather spoils the question. That was for the rich young ruler, for whom his possessions came first.)

Said the Prime Minister: "I'm a Christian and I'm an active member of the Church of England" - he once likened his faith to the patchy reception of Magic FM in the Chilterns - "and like all Christians I think I sometimes struggle with some of the sayings and some of the instructions.
"But what I think is so good about Jesus’ teachings is there are lots of things that He said that you can still apply very directly to daily life and to bringing up your children. Simple things like do to others as you would be done by, love your neighbour as yourself, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount.

"To me they’re still pretty fresh and good instructions so I find those a set of instructions that I can grapple with. But the particular one that you mention, I find that a little bit more difficult.

"I've always felt the strength of the Christian faith is the basic core of moral guidance," he said. "You can find moral guidance from other sources but it's not a bad handbook."

He tries, he says, not to "pick and mix" the lessons he takes from the Bible. Ah, there's the rub. What if you vigorously propose something which is completely opposed to Bible teaching? Like same-sex marriage, perhaps. What then?

The idea of marriage is to bring a man and a woman together in faithfulness to each other to form a lifelong unit in which to bring up children. A sort of kingdom of God in miniature. But have you noticed the things that are being suggested since government dared to redefine marriage?

If you can have a couple, how about a "throuple"? A throuple is like a couple, but with three people. “As far back as I can remember," said one woman, "I felt that loving one person romantically did not preclude the possibility of loving another at the same time. It seemed natural and intuitive to me.”

Or how about "monogamish" marriage? A monogamish marriage is one where the partners would allow sexual infidelity provided there were honest admissions of it. A more flexible attitude within marriage might be just what was needed, said one of its proponents. After all, sexual exclusivity “gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners.”

Or instead of wedlock, how about "wedlease"? Wedlease is where a couple commit themselves to each other for a year, or two years, or three years. When the wedding contract runs out, it could be renewed. Or not. That would save messing with divorce: ending the marriage would be as simple as leaving a rented property.

And how many broken relationships would there be? And broken homes? And broken children?

Jesus was once asked about divorce. He took his questioners right back to Creation. "Have you not read," He said, "that he who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matt 19:4 - 6).

Being a Christian when it's convenient, Mr Cameron, isn't quite good enough. 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

A last word on the LCP?

I have commented often (for instance here, here and here) on the shameful way the Liverpool Care Pathway has been used in the NHS, and I reported (here) that the use of the pathway in the NHS was to be scrapped.

Finally perhaps a few comments from Dr Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist and professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Kent, one of the pathway's most serious (and much maligned) critics:

"The Liverpool Care Pathway was a genuine attempt to improve the management of patients who are thought to be at increased risk of dying. The fact that the Neuberger report found major problems with the LCP and recommended it is abandoned shows how difficult it is to treat this group of patients.

"Firstly, we have to abandon labelling any patient or patient group as 'dying.' The failure of the LCP has brought to light that the diagnosis of 'dying' cannot be made scientifically. To falsely label the patient as 'dying' is dangerous, as it leads  to self-fulfilling prophecies. . . 

"It is also important to initiate a lot more research in this area, as most of the research to date is on cancer patients in hospices and not applicable to general hospital patients."

Knowledge that a patient is in a poor prognostic group or at high risk of dying must immediately be shared with relatives, medical staff and the patient if he or she can understand it, says Dr Pullicino. Secondly, all possible ways of treating the patient to improve their clinical condition must be openly discussed and second opinions sought if necessary.

Thirdly, a decision has to be made whether to treat aggressively or not. The patient's consent should be sought on any change of care plan. A recurrence of the withholding of fluids or using sedatives as a "chemical cosh" must never be allowed to occur.

The failure of the LCP also reflected badly on using a multidisciplinary team to take a central clinical decision about a patient's care without their consent, says Dr Pullicino. This reflected the shortcomings of the Mental Capacity Act, on which the framework of multidisciplinary team decisions was based. Diagnosis by multidisciplinary team needed to be re-examined and the Mental Capacity Act needed to be reviewed.

"A fundamental issue on which the LCP fell down badly was the issue of 'dignity.' The LCP was 'sold' on the basis that it was the ultimate method of providing 'dignity' for the dying patient. . . 

"I think we have to look carefully again at what 'dignity' means for the patient him- or herself. 'Dignity' is defined as 'the state of being worthy of honour or respect.' To be worthy of respect a person must be able to make decisions for themselves as long as possible, particularly with regard to treatment.

"When my wife was very ill and dying of cancer, she repeatedly refused opiate infusions, despite the fact that she was in pain, as this clouded her ability to talk to her children for as long as possible. That to me showed much bravery, and more than anything else, allowed her to show her dignity."

Wise words.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A call to prayer

An international call to 40 days of prayer, fasting and repentance asks Christians around the world to pray for revival and transformation of the nations.

The Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call, originating in Australia and supported by Christian leaders in many countries, asks for prayer beginning today, August 6, and ending with an international day of prayer, fasting and repentance on Yom Kippur on September 14.

It has a four-point prayer focus:

1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformations of the nations of the world.

2. Pray for a billion people to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

3. Pray for an end to abortion and for God to turn back the tide of death and immorality that is sweeping the nations of the world.

4. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.

As a writer puts it in the free 40-page prayer guide: "It is time for a new revolution, and it must begin in the household of faith; a revolt against ungodliness and a return to godly standards of pure and holy lives. There is a better way to live; righteous peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; it’s time that we showed the world it is possible."

You'll find details at and

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Bending the truth about Jesus

Reza Aslan, brought up a Muslim, converted to evangelical Christianity in his teens, and later reverted to the Muslim faith. He has written a book, Zealot: The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth.

Lauren Green used the occasion to interview him on Fox News.

"Is this the most embarrassing interview Fox News has ever done?" wrote someone. The interview was "absolutely demented," wrote the New Yorker's TV critic. "This may be the single most cringe-worthy, embarrassing interview in Fox News history," wrote someone else.

The book rose to No 1 on the list of best-sellers on Amazon, allegedly on the strength of the interview.

Matthew J. Franck, writing at First Things, said Aslan misrepresented his credentials.

"I am a scholar of religions with four degrees including one in the New Testament," said Aslan. "I am an expert with a PhD in the history of religions . . . I am a professor of religions, including the New Testament - that’s what I do for a living, actually . . . To be clear, I want to emphasise one more time, I am a historian, I am a PhD in the history of religions. . . I’m actually quite a prominent Muslim thinker in the United States.”

Aslan does have four degrees: a BA in religion from Santa Clara University; a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard; a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Iowa; and a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

"None of these degrees is in history, so Aslan’s repeated claims that he has 'a PhD in the history of religions' and that he is 'a historian' are false," writes Franck. "Nor is 'professor of religions' what he does 'for a living.' He is an associate professor in the creative writing program at the University of California, Riverside."

Some people just say that Aslan is dishonest.

He says Jesus made no messianic claim throughout the entire Gospel of Mark (Mark 14:61, 62 give the lie to that). "Every word ever written about the historical Jesus, every gospel story, every claim about Him made in the New Testament was written by people who didn't know Jesus while He was alive. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John..."

The important point is not that a man named Jesus lived and was crucified. The important point is that He was - and is - the Son of God, He died for your sin and mine, and after He died, He rose again from the dead.

A dead Saviour couldn't transform lives. A dead Saviour couldn't answer prayer. He said "Come to me. . . and I will give you rest" (Matt 11:28).

Try it and see.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Churches face court challenge

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, one half of a well-known British homosexual couple, says he and his civil partner will go to court to force churches to host same-sex weddings.

The Government bill passed recently legalising homosexual marriage included measures to protect churches from being forced to perform same-sex weddings.

"I am still not getting what I want," Mr Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle. "The only way forward for us is to make a challenge in the courts against the church. It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court. 

"It upsets me because I want it so much - a big lavish ceremony, the whole works."

The couple, who I understand have five surrogate children, were the first British same-sex couple to be named on their children's birth certificates in 1999.

The city council in San Antonio, Texas, the seventh largest city in the US, is considering an ordinance preventing anyone who disagrees with same-sex marriage from working for the city government.

And in Santiago, Chile, some 300 protesters for abortion rights stormed into the city's cathedral during mass, tore out pews and carried them into the street, destroyed a confessional, spray painted blasphemous texts and climbed on altars and undressed.

We live in dangerous days.