Staggeringly Revd Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds, West Yorkshire, the Dales and any other bits that can’t afford their own bishop any more

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

We, and by we I do of course mean you, are all so busy prying into their private lives, constantly voicing opinions and busy casting stones. Well let me just tell you, this is exactly like Jesus and the adulterer. Except Harry isn’t really Jesus, and Meghan isn’t the adulterer, and them wanting their own lives isn’t really a sin, and Jesus telling them to sin no more isn’t strictly applicable. But apart from that, it’s just uncanny how the Big Book of Magic Stuff can teach us about any modern situation.

14 thoughts on “Staggeringly Revd Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds, West Yorkshire, the Dales and any other bits that can’t afford their own bishop any more

  1. The ‘Mornington Crescent’ moment today was so crude and disjointed it felt like the dialogue had been slammed into a wall.

    And today’s homily wasn’t a ‘thought’, it was an opinion piece. Whether this couple have done the right thing or the wrong thing is quite contentious and a matter of opinion. Not for him to come down on one side of the argument, as he seemed to have done.


  2. This TftD is constructed of so many dubious notions it is as if Baines wanted to have it ripped to shreds.

    Does Baines actually know what it is like to be a sex object? I think not. How could he. And yet we have just heard him make an assertion as if he does know. This is the standard fare of the christian cleric. Speak boldly and with unfounded and unqualified conviction as if you do really actually know things which you cannot possibly and are unqualified to know. Toss around crass assertions in order to extract fantastic incredible feckless moral conclusions to support the christian agenda.

    “One of the most common human predilections is to turn other human beings into commodities”. Yes indeed. And it is what christian churches, under the camouflage of humble agencies of god, have being doing for as long as they have existed. Cower the masses into submission and exploit them mercilessly and relentlesly under the threat of eternal hell fire.

    I think the royal couple in question are to be congratulated and applauded for their choice of independence. Its hardly a brave move though. Financial security and independence are theirs already even if it means a small attenuation in the oppulence of their life style. They are at no risk of having to visit a food bank or at risk of lowering themselves to shelf stocking at Lidl. Their prosperity and wealth are gauranteed. And they can now put up two fingers to anyone with inpunity. Frankly its a no brainer. The House of Winsor is in free fall anyway and its stability is divergent on all three axes as if in emulation of the CoE itself in terminal trajectory for a collision with reality. Disestablishment and a greatly attenuated royal burden are to be welcomed. Its better than scoring a hat trick in the world cup final. Brexit, a republic and a constitution based upon secular humanism. I can sense it now.

    Baines would have been better off claiming Harry and Mehgan had been ordered by god to jettison their royal status.


  3. How times change. When King Edward VIII was making plans to marry Mrs Simpson, at first there was a conspiracy of silence among the Press, until the Bishop of Bradford preached a stern sermon in which he castigated the King for neglecting his Christian duties. After that, it was open season for the Press.

    Nowadays, it is the Royals themselves who try to exploit the media (not exactly successfully), while this Bishop bends over backwards to be sympathetic and caring. I must say it would be rather more entertaining if one of the other Bishops were to get up in the pulpit on Sunday and accuse Prince Harry of neglecting his Christian duties.


  4. And if the Bishops were worth their a) their stipends and b) the tolerance of British citizens they surely should have been condemning the outrageous behaviour of Andrew and forcing him to comply with his christian duty. But there has been no clerical commentary at all as far as I know. I guess having a mummy who has power over the top brass of the state church does have its benefits. Queenie and Charlie and bro William should be doing their very best to make Harry’s transition smooth and seamless whilst simultaneously hounding Andrew into compliance with the law just as we, the largely unwilling sponsors of the royals, are bound to do. But such are the morals of the usurping House of Winsor and the ruling elite, which includes the CoE, that protects them.


  5. If only William Shakespeare was able to pen a play based upon the current tribulations of the royals. Would he set it as a tragedy or a comedy I wonder? How would he entitle it?

    Much Ado About Nothing.
    A Mid Summer’s Nightmare.
    The Merchant of Vice.
    The Comedy of Er Indoors.
    The Taming of Andrew.
    Twelfth Night (with Jeffrey).
    The Merry Lives of Windsor.
    Love’s Andrew Lost


  6. If Anne Atkins had tackled the subject of Harry and Megan, I suspect she would have reached a different conclusion. That Harry has failed to ‘honour’ his Grand Mater, Pater and (Step) Mater. That he has failed in his royal and hereditary duties which are to spend his time shaking hands, showing an interest in the uninteresting, opening exhibitions and other things by cutting red ribbons, and de-curtaining plaques. A religious perspective on this kind of issue provides no special insight but is purely a matter of opinion, as with most other perspectives.

    Whatever Harry does, as the former ‘spare’ to his brother is it is inevitable that as the Cambridge children grow up and media attention becomes more and more focused on them, he will become less and less relevant. The boyish charm will fade and his limitations will become more evident. He may fulminate now against the intrusion of the Press, but will he be any happier if they eventually lose interest in him? And as commentators have noted over the past few days, it is going to be difficult for him and Meghan to be half in and half out of the Royal family. If they want all the privileges and entitlements of being ‘in’ without carrying out all the duties which go along with being an HRH, that position is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term.

    In the past, the Royal Family have dealt harshly with those who have failed to conform to their rules. Think of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Diana Princess of Wales, Fergie, and more recently, Prince Andrew, (though in Andrew’s case the side-lining was well deserved). If the Sussexes have to bow out of ‘The Firm’ altogether, Harry could end up as a sort of latter-day Duke of Windsor, living an aimless, insufferably boring existence as an ex-pat, mercilessly bullied by his American wife who does bear a passing resemblance to her compatriot, the Duchess of Windsor aka Mrs Simpson.

    Whatever one thinks of Meghan, it was obvious from the start she was never going to turn into a dutiful, compliant royal wife like the former Kate Middleton. Kate has been careful to cultivate a public persona of anaemic blandness and insipidity, in keeping with her husband’s profound dullness, and those qualities have turned her into a successful royal. If Kate has ever possessed an opinion about anything, no one outside her immediate circle has ever known about it, which is exactly what is required of her.


  7. The Times had 11 news articles, an editorial and a comment piece on this today. At first I thought it was just plain overkill. Then it was pointed out that , by a mysterious coincidence, the Prince has outstanding phone hacking cases against various Murdoch companies and publications….


  8. This post has now been removed from their comments.
    “Rather proves my point that the moderators have now twice removed post with a a link to Prince Harry’s legal cases ,including against Murdoch publications. Google” Prince Harry, legal case.

    “And even more now that the above. post has been removed. Thanks for making my point for me, mods. What does “running scared” mean?”


  9. ” in keeping with her husband’s profound dullness” Spot on. To be a good Royal you really do have to be dull. It’s so obvious now that it has been pointed out. And to appear to be dull one has to keep ones deviant behaviours and peccadillos out of the public eye. Something that Andrew has patently failed to do. Our bat eared and chinless heir is, for once, correct. To downsize and limit the number of royals makes it much easier to maintain control and to keep scandals away from an increasingly hostile public. Andrew had better make sure he wears a seatbelt at all times and would be wise to avoid shooting weekends on the Royal estates lest an unfortunate accident befalls him.


  10. Dinah makes a very good point

    “He may fulminate now against the intrusion of the Press, but will he be any happier if they eventually lose interest in him?”

    One thing that’s common to royals*, politicians and religious leaders (amongst other groups of ‘public figures’ such as Piers Morgan, Katie Hpokins, Julia Hartley Brewer and similarly charming people) is a desire to be listened to. They crave attention; basking in public adulation is what they really want but an argument is OK. The policy of ‘all publicity is good publicity’ applies.

    I know it wouldn’t happen, but granting all of the pathetic pleas for privacy would be a wonderful move. A news boycott of the spoilt narcissists (of all flavours) would lead to a saner world for us all; although what they’d do to get attention back and justify their existence to themselves may be problematic. The rest of us may well ask ‘what are they for? do we need them?’ with interesting results.

    As is so often the case, there’s a 70s rock lyric to meet the occasion (well AAA gets to cherry pick Shakespeare) from The Who / Tommy / “We’re not gonna take it” — ‘We forsake you / gonna break you / let’s forget you better still’

    *I know there are some exceptions – despite not being a monarchist, I have quite a bit of respect for Anne.


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