Now someone in the administration is leaking British secrets

512px-Theresa_May

President Trump has been bedeviled by someone in his administration leaking damaging information about him and his staff.  Now someone in his administration is leaking British secrets!  About the Manchester terror attack, no less.

British law enforcement agencies shared photographs of evidence in the terror attack–a bloody backpack, an electronic device, and a piece of shrapnel.  Within hours, the photographs appeared in the New York Times!

The Brits were so angry that they suspended information sharing with the United States because it is no longer secure.  Prime Minister Theresa May went so far as to say that the “special relationship” between the two countries was in jeopardy.

U.S. officials gave assurances and the information sharing was restored.  And President Trump, already on a crusade to stamp out leaks, vowed to find and punish the culprit.

But now the problem of the White House leaking like a sieve is impacting another country and endangering an anti-terrorist investigation!

[Read more…]

Luther as populist and freedom fighter

Luther_(Wislicenus)Much of Europe, including Catholics, will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 theses.  But Great Britain, not so much.

The founder of the Church of England, King Henry VIII, hated Luther (who opposed his multiple marriages) and martyred his followers.  Later, when Anglicans became distinctly Protestant, they threw in with John Calvin and the Reformed tradition.

Even though the church followed Luther in adopting the Liturgy and emphasizing the Sacraments–thanks to Wittenberg student Thomas Cranmer–the Anglicans don’t do much with Luther.  So they are mostly skipping the October 31 celebration.

British journalist Peter Stanford, writing in the left-of-center Guardian, thinks that’s a shame.  He says Luther deserves to be celebrated as a populist, a champion of the poor, and the seminal defender of the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience.  He also says Luther is a key founder of the modern era.  He was also unimaginably brave.

Now I’m not sure Mr. Stanford fully understands the religious significance of Luther, particularly, his recovery of the Gospel, and there are other things he gets wrong.  But you should read his article for an interesting secular perspective on Luther’s cultural influence. [Read more…]

UK’s new prime minister is Theresa May

British prime minister David Cameron stepped down from office after his efforts to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union were voted down.  Under parliamentary systems, the head of the party with a majority in the legislature becomes the Prime Minister.  So the new leader of the Conservative Party and thus the new Prime Minister is Theresa May.  She is the first woman to serve in that office since Margaret Thatcher.  She is also an active member in the Church of England.
I wonder if this heralds a trend of the world’s powerful nations being led by women. . . .May, Merkel, Clinton?  And yet they would have different political beliefs.

[Read more…]

Great Britain votes to leave the European Union

Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, 52%-48%.  Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the “Remain” effort despite bitter opposition in his party, has resigned.  He said that the formal exit would have to be worked out by the new leadership, which may take several months.  Meanwhile, the pound has collapsed.  Global markets are plunging.

Questions now that remain to be seen:

  • Will other countries likewise leave the EU?  Does the departure of one of its most important members mean the end of the European Union?
  • Does this herald the end of globalism and the end of multi-culturalism?
  • Does this mean Donald Trump, whose issues–anti-immigration, nationalism, economic protectionism–are similar to those of the “Leave” faction, is riding the wave of history?

What others come to mind?  What do you think will happen?  Please weigh in with your comments. [Read more…]

Britain votes today on whether to stay in the European Union

Today is the day that Great Britain votes on whether or not to stay in the European Union.  Last minute polls have the outcome too close to call.

What do you think will happen?  Do you think the “Brexit” movement (British exit) is of a piece with the rise of Donald Trump, as many are saying, since advocates of both are populists, nationalists, and dislike so much immigration?   [Read more…]

Britain now has more “nones” than Christians

Great Britain now has more people who say they have “no religion” (48%) than say they are Christians (44%).  (Other religions such as Islam constitute 8%.)  And this happened fast.  Fifteen years ago, around 75% said they were Christians.  Five years ago, only 25% said they have “no religion.”  After the jump, a story about this from the London Spectator.

For a long time, most Brits still considered themselves Christians, while hardly ever attending services.  Staying Christian requires going to church.  Then again, when the churches themselves, as a whole, become so theologically liberal they stop teaching anything that could be recognized as Christianity, then of course Christianity will, apart from divine intervention, be extinguished.

Could such a religious shift happen in the USA?  Or is it already happening? [Read more…]