A church leader has described his parishioners as ”crude and vulgar” booze-fuelled drunkards who are ruining life in an historic British city.
Canon Alan Nugent slammed the people of Lincoln in a chapter letter complaining about the behaviour of men and women enjoying wild nights out in the city.
The outspoken reverend, who is subdean at the city’s 1,000-year-old cathedral, claims women ”demean” themselves on nights filled with ”obscenities and expletives”.
He complained that a society plagued by ”vulgar behaviour” has replaced the city’s historic Christian values.
Furious Canon Nugent added: ”Weekend evenings in the town and increasingly in the Bailgate area become noisy, crude and uncouth.
”What upsets me so much is that young women demean themselves. Yet this is not an age issue. I have witnessed crude and vulgar behaviour in people of different ages.
”Exchequergate and Minster Yard, often in the early hours, resonate to called conversation which seem only to consist of a series of shouted expletives and obscenities. It is so very sad.
”Christianity no longer has significant influence on the way people behave.
”The deliberate attempt to remove the Christian faith from the national life, or at least seriously to marginalise it, which I have witnessed time and again during the period of my ministry, has succeeded.
”In its place a style of society, very crude, very unattractive has emerged, which demonstrates itself so often in vulgar behaviour.
”The Christian faith is concerned with values, behaviour and morals because it presents the highest estimate of what humanity is, should be and should aspire to.
”Because God shared our humanity in Christ and because we are made in God’s image then how humanity develops and how human beings behave is essential to the Christian understanding of life.
”Crass, crude, vulgar behaviour is not something that can be or should be seen as an isolated phenomenon or a passing phase.
”It is symptomatic of what happens when a value system, in our case a Christian one, is deconstructed. ”
Canon Nugent was appointed Subdean at Lincoln Cathedral in 2003 is responsible for the fabric of the cathedral and the works department.
He held responsibility for a parish in Sunderland for seven years before being appointed Director of Education in the Diocese of Durham.
According to his website Canon Nugent enjoys musicals, is fascinated by opera and has recently renewed his boyhood love of walking in the Peak District.
Lincoln Cathedral is regarded as one of the finest medieval buildings in Europe, which towers above Lincoln, a prominent landmark for miles around.
Attracting thousands of tourists every year experts believe the the imposing West Front incorporates the surviving part of the first Romanesque Cathedral from 1072.
Society in general has degenerated to the point where we have forsaken all decency, even as forces to overtake us and impose false religions and false gods are threatening our very freedom. The Christian faith of our ancestors and their sacrifices are thrown out for cheap thrills that leave us completely empty spiritually. If we don’t respond to the living God’s love poured out for us we will be enslaved by dictators who will force us to obey shariah law that is completely loveless and merciless. Our physical lives and eternal lives are in our own hands by the choices we make..
I read with interest the report in the press of your Chapter Letter in which you state:-
“Christianity no longer has significant influence on the way people behave. The deliberate attempt to remove the Christian faith from the national life, or at least seriously to marginalise it, which I have witnessed time and again during the period of my ministry, has succeeded.
“In its place a style of society, very crude, very unattractive has emerged, which demonstrates itself so often in vulgar behaviour.
“The Christian faith is concerned with values, behaviour and morals because it presents the highest estimate of what humanity is, should be and should aspire to. Because God shared our humanity in Christ and because we are made in God’s image then how humanity develops and how human beings behave is essential to the Christian understanding of life.”
Whilst I agree with you about the denigration of society, I cannot agree with you that this is because of an erosion of Christian values. I often have lunch with a local vicar and we frequently argue this point, as he maintains that my moral values must be guided by the 10 commandments. I remind him that the church does not have “copyright” on the content of the 10 commandments and, as a Humanist; I have certain moral values which I try to keep to. He often jokes that we should get our own commandments, but I do point out to him that, the important ones such as thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not murder are very important in a civilized society and the church does not have a monopoly on them!
As a Humanist, I can only see inconsistencies in the Bible and teachings of the church, indeed even the different branches of the church cannot agree on what is right. The present Monarch has the words “Fid Def” after her name, where did she get this title? She inherited this title, which means DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, from King Henry Viii who had the title conferred upon him by the Pope. He then proceeded to break with the Catholic Church on the back of Lutherism when we all know that the real reason for this break was the Catholic churches refusal to allow him to divorce his wife and the rise of Lutherism in Europe was a convenient way to get his own way. We have the situation where the Queen, as head of the Church of England still uses the Papal title conferred upon her ancestors. The Church of England is still opposed to Divorce, despite its foundation being entrenched in the divorce and murdering antics of a King!!!
A vicar in Thanet quoted from the Bible in the Thanet Gazette “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” Most of the wars in this world have been in the name of religion. Indeed in the recent Iraq war, George Bush made the mistake of referring to the war as a crusade. This only went on to inflame the situation as there had undeniably been a “crusade” led by Richard the Lionheart in which the Saracens were massacred by his troops, again in the name of religion.
Then when you look at the lead up to the Iraq war itself, Tony Blair, a committed Christian, lied to parliament in order to conduct a war in which many people were killed. If that was the act of a Christian, I thank God I am a Humanist!
In another “Thought for the Week” in the Thanet Gazette, the Rev. Biddal of Margate Baptist Church was very critical of the celebration of Halloween. Whilst I agree that this is an unnecessary import from America, he then went on to say that when he was a child the only thing that they were looking forward to at this time would have been Guy Fawkes Night. This was, of course, the celebration of the hanging, drawing and quartering of a Catholic who tried to blow up the Protestant King and Government.
You may remember when bus services were run by small, independent companies. Then in the 1980’s there was a bus company in Scotland run by a prominent Christian. He started a predatory campaign in any area where there was a small, independent bus company, by undercutting the local operators’ prices and by running loss leading services timetabled to arrive just before the bus of the local company was due. This forced the local firms out of business with all the heartache of bankruptcy and loss of jobs that that entailed. He then put in bids to run those services having created a monopoly. This was encouraged by Mrs Thatcher’s (another committed Christian) policy of deregulation of the bus routes.
As a Humanist I really cannot understand how people like you can be so trusting believing in the bible, which is full of contradictions, when your God, allegedly, made you and then disappeared and then relies on your trust and belief. I would love to believe that there is an after life, but to me it is illogical. There are so many inconsistencies in the Bible that I just cannot believe in it. Then when I look at abuses committed in the name of religion I despair. How can a child, who is abused by a priest, then have faith in a God who that priest is supposed to represent? If that child turns away from God, is he or she to be punished?
There is even a Papal committee investigating whether Judas Iscariot should be canonised for his part in delivering Jesus to the Romans. Far from being a traitor, he was the “fall guy” without whom God would not have been able to fulfil his aim.
If there is a God, why has he disadvantaged some of his people by teaching them the wrong belief? In fact, who is to decide what the right belief is? Maybe the suicide bombers are right and all you Christians are wrong. They certainly do appear to be very sincere, if misguided, in their beliefs, as to give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives must take some doing. If there is a God, why does he allow this? What becomes of the misguided suicide bombers, does he forgive them?
As I stated earlier, there are so many inconsistencies that I cannot believe in any God. Does that make me a bad person? I believe that I should treat my fellow man with respect and in a way that I would want to be treated. I believe that this is more honourable than the Christian way, which only requires compliance because of fear of the wrath of a vengeful God.
I also believe that the church is divisive and creates pain and suffering within its membership. My partner is involved with the church as she is a bell ringer and at a recent bell ringing outing there was a group of homosexual men attending. Some of her colleagues chose not to attend as they considered this to be wrong, yet these gay people were devout Christians. If they were made by God, and were therefore given the homosexual gene by him, why are they disadvantaged by not being allowed to practice their sexuality? This seems so unfair when he does not put the same restrictions on heterosexual people.
There are too many irrational inconsistencies in the bible to make it believable. Then there is the unfairness. Moses was concerned that his people would not believe that he had spoken to him (Exodus 4:1), so he told him to cast his staff on the ground and it would turn into a snake and then they would believe, yet he was then told (Exodus 4:21) …see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. The church teaches that everyone has free will, which in any case seems to conflict with the belief that God also knows the outcome of everything anyway, but in this case, if God “…hardened the heart of the Pharaoh, so that he will not let the people go.” So God allowed the Israelites to believe his “sign” but used Pharaoh by not letting him believe the same signs. Where was the Pharaoh’s free will? If God has made everyone equal and heaven is such a wonderful place, shouldn’t the Pharaoh have had the same chances as everybody else? He appears to be the scapegoat, expendable in God’s plan. After the Pharaoh refuses to let the Israelites go, God then starts the plagues on Egypt. Isn’t this a very vindictive thing to do, causing suffering, not only to the Pharaoh, but to the Egyptians who could well be innocent. The Church teaches that abortion is wrong, yet God causes all the firstborn to die in the land (Exodus 11:5). It is bad enough that poor Pharaoh who, after all is the scapegoat in this story, is made to suffer, but he then goes on to kill “…the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill” – why is she being punished just because she is not an Israelite?
According to the Bible, the Jews appear to be the “chosen” people, does that mean that everyone else is not chosen or are they wrong?
As a Humanist I really cannot believe in such an unfair and vindictive being having created everything. I’m beginning to ramble a bit now so I suppose I had better close!
Yours Sincerely,Anthony Sansum