Extravagantly Reverend James Jones, ex-Lord Bishop of Liverpool and Bishop of Prisons

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, today is the anniversary of something terrible that was actually real.

Which reminds me of Easter. Like all of you, I’m terribly upset that Jesus died, but…


…he only dies temporarily! (Shhh… don’t tell anyone.)


9 thoughts on “Extravagantly Reverend James Jones, ex-Lord Bishop of Liverpool and Bishop of Prisons

  1. Note to all bishops, clergy, rabbis, imams and professional religious types. Regarding your various religious holidays, anniversaries, celebrations, commemorations, ceremonies etc.



  2. Once again a cleric uses horrible tragedy, the pain and repercussions of which are still acute today, as fodder for agrandisment of his religion without permission and without giving a toss that very many of those killed were not in anyway interested in christianity. Indeed many of the victims will have atheists or votaries of some other dogma. But no, with gargantuan conceit, disrespect and total indifference this great TFTD thinker ignorantly tramples over the sensitivities of thousands of people to remind us about what is actually a mythical non event.

    And as for those christians who perished in great distress and pain at Hillsborough, where was god then? Maybe his attention was diverted because he was watcing or Barca or Galatasaray at the time.


  3. I would like to put in a supportive word for Bishop Jones this morning, and the effort he put into reinvigorating the Campaign for Justice over the Hillsborough Disaster, the 30th Anniversary of which falls tomorrow – and I recall that day as if it were yesterday. I couldn’t get a ticket for the game, but I lived right by Anfield then, and witnessed the distress as it developed in Liverpool.

    At a time when the culprits, collusionists and those responsible for shifting blame onto fans were thinking they’d finally got away with it, the Hillsborough Panel, chaired by Jones brought the whole thing back into the public view – especially in making all the relevant papers and records available for scrutiny. The Hillsborough Panel led to the Inquiry (when verdicts of ‘Accidental Death’ were overturned) and the Inquiry led to the recent trials.

    This was, at least, ONE incidence of a prominent public figure (irrespective of his religious affiliation) using his establishment clout (which was quite considerable) to expose corruption and obfuscation which ran deep in that establishment, at least in regards to the deaths of those 96 people.

    Sadly, for Bishop James Jones, recent surveys discussed on the Sunday programme yesterday morning (BBC Radio 4, 7:10) revealed that a substantial percentage of professed Christians do not believe that Jesus died and was raised from the dead. This seems to me to be ‘chickens coming home to roost’ as a result of all the Christian apologists (such as we frequently hear on TFTD) re-interpreting all the awkward and uncomfortable bits of their tradition. It will make uncomfortable reading for the churches on the run up to Easter. I would add, though, that my respect for James Jones also extends to his utter tenacity in holding to all the confessional elements of his faith; there’s nothing of the apologist in him – even though, of course, I reject everything he believes in. At least he has the courage to hold true to his professed faith.


    1. I also respect James Jones for his work on the Hillsborough Enquiry. That’s precisely why this morning’s effort was so disappointing. His aim this morning was not to commemorate Hillsborough, it was to talk about the Christian version of Easter and to deliberately conflate the mock grief of Holy Week with the real grief of the Hillsborough disaster.

      If the date had been different today, he would have simply referred to a different disaster. It would have suited his purpose just as well.

      This deliberate technique, of invoking a tragedy to put their homily beyond criticism, is blatantly employed by TFTD as well as religious apologists in general.


    2. I meant of course that the Anniversary falls today (15th); don’t know how I got that wrong – might have been his inclusion of the Golden Temple massacre yesterday.


  4. I absolutely concur with both Liverpudlian and Peter here.

    While James Jones is to be admired for his enormous contribution to the pursuit of justice, it sits uneasily in a slot that demands a “faith perspective”. This would have been one occasion when following the recent trend of ignoring the brief would have actually been most appropriate.


  5. I too support what Liverpudlian and Peter have said.

    James Jones appears to believe, no doubt sincerely, that equating Hillsborough and similar disasters to the myths of “Holy Week” helps to bring home how tragic they are. The opposite is the case. When speakers bring up something that has happened in the real world, and immediately tie it into a bible story, this actually has the effect of detracting from the seriousness and significance of the real event.

    Still six days to go until Easter Sunday. Lots more of this sort of stuff to come, I’m afraid!


  6. I too concur with the comments above.

    James Jones good work with the enquiry should be recognised and commended. However many others also did much the same but went unrecognised — mainly because their lack of a privileged position within the Establishment meant that they were not listened to.

    The bishop may well have been guided by his beliefs – and again this is fine – but I’d wager that many others would also be guided the same way through secular morals and ethics; the IMF isn’t a necessary precondition for good. It sounds harsh – and I apologise, I wish there were a better idiom but – even a stopped clock is right twice a day. The good work done and religion are not co-dependent however much the speaker wants to project that message.


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