Canon Dr Giles Fraser 104

Canon Dr Giles Fraser is being forced from his job for the dreadful sin of actually acting as a Christian.

I was sent this recently; different church, same shit.

I am some kind of confused deist myself. I was recently told what I am sure is an old joke, but it struck me as very true:

God looked down at the sufferings of man, turned to the Devil, and said: “The plight of man moves me to compassion. I will send them Religion for consolation.”
“Good idea,” said the Devil, “I’ll organise it.”

104 thoughts on “Canon Dr Giles Fraser

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  • Iain Orr

    As a postscript to my earlier posting (which has not yet appeared), I especially commend Dr Giles Fraser’s Thought for the Day for 9 September 2004 [spoken and written text available on the Radio 4 website] about the anti-apartheid Dutch Reformed clergyman C F Beyers Naude. The last paragraph has a final sentence which often applies to this website:

    “Beyers Naudé might have looked more like an accountant than an Old Testament prophet, but like the prophets he was prepared to incur the fury of his own people in order to speak the truth about them. Passionate criticism of one’s own community is sometimes the only form of loyalty possible.”

  • mary

    @Wendy ‘it appears that st pauls is due some important events coming up soon and the hierarchy / establishment dont want the protestors to be in view.’

    Yes the Lord Mayor’s Show and Remembrance Sunday are coming up on November 12th and 13th.
    This was the man with the bloodied hands at a service there for Iraq! in October 2009 when the father of Shaun Brierley refused to shake his hand.

  • JJB


    That the gospels were approved does not mean, I would agree, that they are a pure fabrication. On the other hand, whichever form was approved should not be a threat to the status quo of the time. That means that any “rebel against the rulers” suggestion that may have been originaly present there would have been weeded out. However, it may not have been necessary to do so, and it is well possible that the original gospels were already seriuosly distorting Jesus story. For example, they were writen well after the death of Christ, but, more importantly, after the great Jewish rebelion of 66 CE. After the thorough crushing of this rebelion, it would not do to paint Jesus as a sort of wanabe Jewish rebel leader. Thus, the gospel writers would have had all the incetives to paint Jesus as a someone that was eminetly a pacifist, whos only enely was the local priesthood. His alleged view of the romans: give to Caesar what belogs to Caesar, etc.
    The problem when tryint to study historical Jesus is that most people (at least most Muslims and Christians) will typically start with a lot of deeply ingrained assumptions about him, regardless of the scholar(s) being or not religious him or herself.

  • nuid

    “Passionate criticism of one’s own community is sometimes the only form of loyalty possible.”
    [Something which many Americans could do with learning. But they have been brought up from the age of dot to believe otherwise.]

  • nuid

    “they were writen well after the death of Christ”
    And if I remember correctly, the Catholic Church gets around this by saying that they were divinely inspired. They also get around the question of conscience by teaching that you must have an “informed conscience” — and they will do the informing. Gotcha.

  • ingo

    Ask those victims of abuse by catholic priests in Ireland, the US and Germany, indeed all over the world, whether they think the Vaticans response to their broken lives is ‘vicious’.

    Ask the theologians who purported a more liberalcatholicismn what they think of dogma and resilience to human change in the church?

    Anti catholicism is not a scottish thing alone, remember the trials and tribulations of Dr. Kueng?

    In this case, the money lenders/ collectors/his colleagues have chucked out canon Giles and I thank him for valueing his humanity and spiritual beliefs more than the 22K/day lost.

  • Iain Orr

    I must have clicked the wrong button earlier. Anyway, to get a balanced picture of Dr Giles Fraser’s view, have a good browse through his Thoughts for the Day on Radio 4 (voice or written texts at ).

    Also highly topical on religion and banking is Martin Palmer’s Thought for the Day of 7 November 2007 (see ). It was because of his reference in this broadcast to Citigroup’s then CEO, Charles Price, that Martin was dropped from the approved list of TFTD contributors – a loss to us and the BBC.

  • Cucumber Type

    However accurate or inaccurate the Gospels may be, they don’t claim Jesus said he was the son of God – that’s just something made up by a nutty poster earlier.

    It doesn’t matter. If you can learn something from the stories, true, half-true or false, then yo!

  • Jon

    “Shame on you”, says John Stack.
    The psychological phenomenon of shame is a common feature running through much organised religion, isn’t it? It is highly encouraged, with the ideology that personal suffering is godly and that one must permanently reflect on one’s own sinfulness; and is part of the mechanism of social control that religion wishes to exercise. Of course in the case of the Catholic church, it is more than just a psychologically harmful meme – it is the impact of endemic child abuse, too.

  • John Stack

    sorry to labour the point but you did not show a Jewish Rabbi or any Muslim or any Protestant leader or the Queen as head of the church. The Pope is an easy target but it is wrong and harmful to single him out.
    Jesus simply said love your neighbour as yourself. He said we were from a creator, and would return, and had to learn how to be fully human. His view. Any human institution is based on power, influence, prestige,wealth.
    I also agree that the display of opulance in ALL institutions is wrong.
    You have the most sane and hopeful blog on the net. Keep your courage. How can those of us out here help you ?

  • MJ

    “I think we know as much about Jesus as we do about a great many accepted historical figures”
    Like Horus and Dionysus perhaps, or Krishna and Mithras, all of whom had CVs remarkably similar to Christ’s?
    Before folk buy too readily into the literalists “historical figure” narrative it’s well to recall that there are no known historical references to Christ outside the bible and the Gnostic gospels. The reference in Josephus has long been recognised as a fourth century addition.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Certainly Craig’s image and the tenets of man’s religions have encouraged us to think deeper and wider as it did with the prophet Jesus PBUH who we recall spent 40 days in the desert, the right place to sort out priorities. I think all of us realise that times are bleak; such times enable real opportunities to present themselves. People young and older in many places on our planet have grasps this opportunity to express in a peaceful way an enlightenment, an enhanced awareness of modern corruption and deceit by a powerful majority enabled by a financial, commercial and economic system intended to benefit the few and enable power, dominance and control over the majority, in a duplication of religious fear and manipulation now lost to history.
    Cameron and his Arch Lieutenant Iain Duncan Smith are really political priests who represent and enact the decisions of this elite few. Their radical, long term policies are threads that bind a rope that forms a noose around our necks. We are becoming slaves of an aggressive, domineering and manipulating war machine system that is applying increasing pressure to increase punitive responses to any abuses of this corrupt system.
    These responses are crafted with deceit and achieved in subtle ways. Our surveillance society is backed by an army of ‘dark actors’ and their public facing blue badge policeman, whose sole purpose is to seek out activist leaders and those intent on unravelling the knot that is tightening on our throats, throttling our voice and impeding the blood flowing to our brains, our minds. Our religious organisations are pressured to play a leading role in the ‘big society’ now realised as a ruse, an artifice intended to blind our perception of the big picture that exposes a quiet resurgence of the seductive language of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor” that Duncan Smith has ordained in his black book of social reforms.
    Knowing these things is where we stand together, as one. What binds us now is this increased awareness, knowledge; our honour, our respect and trust in each other, that cannot be denied even by the force of this government’s policies that the enlightened ‘nobody’ voted for. And if we can remind ourselves of this, then the desert can become a place of hope and indeed a place of transformation.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Mary, thanks for that interesting link. To be pedantic for a moment, it would appear that Canon Fraser is of Jewish origin and I am sure that he brings to bear much of the wisdom and experience of that background to his life and work, but as the article makes clear, he is no longer Jewish by religion. What a wonderful, courageous man! Solidarity!

  • angrysoba

    Jesus is saaaaaaaaaad! And I don’t mean that when you tell a lie you make the little baby Jesus cry I mean sad as in a right goody two-shoes.
    By the way, why did he raise Lazarus from the dead? It makes no sense!

  • craig Post author

    I just deleted one of my own comments which on reflection, though witty, may have been unpleasantly offensive to some.

  • Sorry for you all

    The only religion which teaches respect for all prophets of the past is Islam. The prophets did never lie or say false. I recommend you to read the translation of the Quran by dr Khan.

  • Pee

    A very interesting discussion, although I haven’t had the time to read all comments yet. May I just jump in and repeat my plea from a previous thread….we need more Quakers!! Christian, but without the hierarchy and ‘claptrap’- and dedicated to peace, no hypocracy.

  • Michael Culver

    Slightly off the point or not? Scameron’s mighty victory in bombing the shit out of Libya results in Sharia law ,happy days for the women there when each man may now take 4 wives without consulting any of them.Possibly Louise Mensch wiould care to comment? Or indeed anyone from Womens’Lib?? Quaddafi had passed legislation giving equal rights,what a quaint old E.U. notion,positively colonial.Still religion is all ain’t it?!

  • Chienfou

    (and all those who have posted saying there are no references to Jesus claiming his is the Son of God please see below)

    The idea of Jesus as being just one of many sons and daughters of God is an interesting one. Certainly there are examples to support the totally orthodox idea that we are all children of God – the reference to “Our father” is one of them as you say.

    But there are good reason to belive that Jesus thought of his relationship to God the Father as being very special, even unique one – “the” rather than “a” Son of God.

    Firstly take John 3:16 which has Jesus explaining about God’s “one and only Son”. No confusion in that as to how many sons there are.All four of the Gospels have Jesus indicating that he is that “one and only” Son of God.

    In Matthew, Mark and Luke, when asked the question by the Sanhedrin, he say that he is. The reference are:
    Mark 14:61-62
    Matthew 26:63-64
    Luke 22:70

    The Gospel of John does not directly cover this particular part of Jesus’s interrogation but refers to it in chapter 19:7.

    Besides this, the gospels have may instances where Jesus allows others to refer to him as Son of God without contradicting them:
    Matthew 4:3 ;4:6; 8:29; 14:33;16:16
    Mark 3:11
    Luke 4:3; 4:41
    John 1:49; 11:27

    There are also instances in all four Gospels of Jesus forgiving sins or judging mankind. In each case the logical fact that this would blasphemous for anyone who is not God is noted in the subsequent verses. These examples are :

    Matthew 9:2; 26:28
    Mark 2:5
    Luke 5:20-21;7:48
    John 5:18; 5:27; 8:24;

    For anyone interested in checking these you can find the full text at

  • Jon

    > The only religion which teaches respect for all prophets of the past is Islam
    Playground bullshit based on petty tribalism. “My religion is better than your religion” is the adult version of “my dad is harder than your dad”.
    As I’ve suggested on other threads, religion should not be banned, since it tends to flourish defiantly when it is oppressed. But as an engine of brainwashing and social control, society should gently encourage churches of all kinds to die off, whilst championing the right of every person to enjoy a personal relationship with deities quietly.

  • craig Post author


    I think you are being deliberately obtuse. Of course he calls himself son of God – but he also makes plain that we are all children of God. Where does he make a claim either to being uniquely son of God, or to divinity?

  • craig Post author

    Actually I rather hope you are being deliberately obtuse. I would hate for you to be genuinely that obtuse.

    As for Jesus forgiving sins, thousands of Catholic priests claim to do that every day. Doesn’t make them divine either.

  • Chienfou


    Are personal insults the norm here?

    Read my last past and read John 3:16. “one and only” fits my definition of exclusive. Are you using a different one?

    They seem to have understood the blasphemy in first century palestine (look up the references) – is it therefore you that is being “deliberatly obtuse”?

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