on 9 March 2007
This book is a collection of articles written by Giles Fraser for The Guardian, The Church Times and Radio 4's Thought For The Day. They span five years and are often responses to events in the news at the time - it can be interesting to read some of them with the benefit of hindsight. Giles Fraser writes with an excellent style, engaging and approachable with a clarity of expression and the use of examples from daily life as well as reference to thinkers from the past.
Giles Fraser is from the liberal wing of the church and you're left in no doubt of his views on some of the more controversial issues of the moment such as homosexuality, the Anglican Communion, George Bush and politics, racism, Israel and Palestine. He has much to criticise about the evangelical wing of the church and he's not afraid to speak his mind. I found this a refreshing read as a series of short articles about different issues, but those from a more fundamentalist or conservative position might find it uncomfortable reading.
on 25 October 2007
Collecting columns originally appearing in The Guardian and The Church Times between 2002 and 2006, that these pieces remain relevant shows how well Fraser selects his targets. His obsessions: the so-called war on terror, homophobia, the Middle East, the tensions that threaten to tear apart the Anglican communion. Read at a single sitting, there is a degree of repetitiveness (consistency?) but the bite sized chunks would sit well with a daily cup of coffee as an added stimulant to kick start the brain.
on 1 November 2010
Despite its terrible title, this collection of essays, articles and broadcast pieces is a powerful and timely rejoinder to the knee-jerk social conservatism that besets the Anglican Church today. Fraser pulls no punches in his attacks on stale 'Christian' tropes, on fundamentalism, on homophobia within the Church, on Israel. But his case is always well-argued, balanced and humane. This is a call to see Christianity as compassionate again, as inclusive again. But it is, above all, a call for the Church to examine itself.
on 24 February 2013
Fraser is one of the star's of 'The Guardian's Face to Faith column (aka, Bigots' Corner). He variously claims to be vicar of Putney, a lecturer in philosohy at Oxford, an advisor to the ministry of defence, a cathedral dean, a charity worker, a journalist - and that's just the part of the list I remember. He is one of the more notorious faces of the Anglican church's attempt to pretend to a modernisation of the vicious drivel of Christian sexism and homophobia, whilst quite coolly representing himself publicly as straight.
In 'God is not Great', Chris Hitchens remarks that bringing up a child in religion is the worst kind of child abuse [sic] and it is this loathsome abuse - including advocating the view of a benign deity who is in individual telepathic commmunication with billions of believers simultaneously [the doctrine of prayer] - that GF wishes to foster. Some philosopher. Better an out and out Tebbitt than a closeted pseudo-intellectual cleric.