Monday, November 13, 2006

Pelagian Drinking Song...

They've been a bit quiet recently, but I can't for the life of me think why I haven't linked to In Veritate Ambulare. Anyway, the fact that they posted the Pelagian Drinking Song is to their credit...
Pelagius lived at Kardanoel
And taught a doctrine there
How, whether you went to heaven or to hell
It was your own affair.
It had nothing to do with the Church, my boy,
But was your own affair.

No, he didn't believe
In Adam and Eve
He put no faith therein!
His doubts began
With the Fall of Man
And he laughed at Original Sin.
With my row-ti-tow
He laughed at original sin.

Then came the bishop of old Auxerre
Germanus was his name
He tore great handfuls out of his hair
And he called Pelagius shame.
And with his stout Episcopal staff
So thoroughly whacked and banged
The heretics all, both short and tall --
They rather had been hanged.

Oh he whacked them hard, and he banged them long
Upon each and all occasions
Till they bellowed in chorus, loud and strong
Their orthodox persuasions.
With my row-ti-tow
Their orthodox persuasions.

Now the faith is old and the Devil bold
Exceedingly bold indeed.
And the masses of doubt that are floating about
Would smother a mortal creed.
But we that sit in a sturdy youth
And still can drink strong ale
Let us put it away to infallible truth
That always shall prevail.

And thank the Lord
For the temporal sword
And howling heretics too.
And all good things
Our Christendom brings
But especially barley brew!
With my row-ti-tow
Especially barley brew!
--Hilaire Belloc, "The Pelagian Drinking Song"
By the way, can anyone suggest a tune to which this might fittingly be sung? (Those who know Zadok are preparing themselves... hearing my not-quite-tenor, not-quite bass voice is comparable only to the experience of a Florence Foster Jenkins concert.
The Telegraph has this piece on the British debate about the euthanasia of new-born babies:
The Church of England intensified the debate on seriously ill newborn babies yesterday when it said that in rare cases it may be better to allow a child to die.
Overriding the presumption that life should be maintained at all cost, the Church said it would be right to choose to withdraw or withhold treatment, knowing it would result in death, if intervention were futile.
The statement comes in a submission to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, an independent body that will publish the results of a two-year inquiry later this week into the ethics of prolonging life in foetuses and the newborn.
It prompted fury from disability rights groups, led by Simone Apsis, the parliamentary officer for the UK Disabled People's Council (UKDPC), representing 70 groups. "How can the Church of England say Christian compassion includes the killing of disabled babies either through the withdrawing or withholding of treatment or by active euthanasia?" she said.
" It appears that the whole debate on whether disabled babies are worth keeping alive is being dominated by professionals and religious people without any consultation with disabled people."
In a submission to the Nuffield Inquiry last week, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology (RCOG) called for an open discussion about the ethics of euthanasia for the sickest of babies.
It called for a debate about the option to end the suffering of a severely damaged newborn baby, which may have been aborted if the parents had known earlier of the extent of its disabilities and potential suffering.
Meanwhile, the Church of England, in its submission, states: "The fetus and neonate are unique individuals under God. We cannot accept as a justification for killing them the argument that their lives are not worth living. This is not incompatible with accepting that it may in some circumstances be right to choose to withhold or withdraw treatment, knowing that it will possibly, probably or even certainly result in death."
The Church says such a course of action would only be justified if two conditions were satisfied.
"First, there would have to be very strong proportionate reasons for overriding the presupposition that life should be maintained. Second, all reasonable alternatives would have to be fully considered so that the possibly lethal act would only be performed with manifest reluctance."
Claire Foster, the policy adviser on medical ethics for the Church, said: "We have not changed our position. The Church of England has always held that every life is valuable to God. But we are saying there may be times when treatment is futile and therefore it would be appropriate to withdraw treatment."
The Christian Medical Fellowship, which represents more than 5,000 doctors across the country, said a decision to withhold treatment from a baby should not be confused with euthanasia.
Dr Peter Saunders, general secretary, said in some cases, withdrawing or withholding treatment was appropriate.
"There is a point in medicine where we say enough is enough," he said. "In those cases it is good medical judgment to withhold."
On a much lighter note, I'm pleased to see that Tradition is making a comeback in one British school:
THE fountain pen, complete with leaky nibs, bursting cartridges and indelibly stained shirts, is making a compulsory comeback in a last-ditch attempt to save the nation’s handwriting.
The spread of vowel-free text messages among the young and the rise of grammarless e-mails across all age ranges is leaving children, university students and even teachers unable to write legibly by hand.
But now a leading independent school has ordered pupils aged nine and over to write only with fountain pens.
Bryan Lewis, the headmaster of The Mary Erskine & Stewart’s Melville Junior School in Edinburgh, believes that his pupils’ educational attainment and sense of self-worth will all benefit.
“All teachers who join our junior school are taught a handwriting style by my colleagues and they, in turn, teach all our children the same style,” Mr Lewis said. “They are helped by our insistence that children from primary 5 onwards write in fountain pen.
“Learning to write in fountain pen not only results in beautiful presentation but also has the not-insignificant bonus of developing children’s selfesteem.”
Mr Lewis’s policy is likely to be well-received by those in authority. Tony Blair is a fountain-pen user and has been known to give heavyweight Churchill pens as gifts.
Funnily enough, I had a teacher who insisted that we learn how to write with fountain pens... I can't imagine how much more illegible my scrawl would be if she didn't do that...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pelagius taught that grace is the death of Christ for our sins which is God's free gift to man, as is taught by Paul in Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." But Augustine taught that grace is some mysterious operation by which God gives some men faith and without which nobody can believe. Pelagius taught that man needs the cross of Christ, belief in it, and baptism into Christ to be saved, and that once a believer in Christ is baptized they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which can enable them to live a sinless life if they will utilize this power, which is along the lines of Romans 8:13 "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Although Paul is not saying we have to live totally sinlessly, and neither was Pelagius, but rather that this is the goal that we should strive for, to mortify all sinfulness by the Spirit of God and live as pure as we can. Augustine on the other hand taught that faithless infants should be baptized and that baptism washed away his fictional belief called inherited sin (which Pelagius denied) but that it didn't do anything as far as providing us with the ability to live a good life, and Augustine denied that the Spirit would provide us any help in living righteously because he saw men as hopeless and beyond help to the extent that even God could not improve our moral condition much, but God could only saved us from hell. Pelagius taught that God can free us from our bondage to sin in this world. Augustine taught that we will always be totally enslaved to sin till we die. Pelagius taught a salvation that extends to the present. Augustine taught a salvation only in the future.