Bishop David on the Big Questions

Fr Primus was on the Big Questions yesterday morning. For those who have not seen it, the Big Questions is a questiontimesque religious programme that goes out on a Sunday morning when lost of us are out at church.

The questions this week were:

  • Should an earthquake shake your faith?
  • Is porn bad for society?
  • Has separate Catholic education fuelled sectarianism?

I think that the Big Questions is a bit of a bear pit and I’ve no idea what its audience is. It always seems a bit odd to put it out on a Sunday morning. The ethos of the programme is to include as many different faith voices as possible – odd then to put it out at a time when the vast majority of people from one rather large faith community are rather busy.

You can see how Bishop David got on by clicking here.


  1. Steven says

    1. No – an earthquake is a natural disaster and has nothing whatsoever to do with Faith in God. Faith is, however, an issue in our response to human suffering as a result of such disasters.
    2. Yes – porn, like anything else that is sought primarily for our own selfish gratification, does, in the end damage us as individuals and therefore as a society. Lust for lust’s sake is not a good thing. Lust in the context of a permanent faithful and loving relationship is a way of deepening that relationship – it gives way to deeper intimacy.
    3. Yes – coming from Northern Ireland I take the view that children should not first be exposed “to the other side” when they are 18 whether it is in the work place or at University. For many Northern Irish children – including myself – this is the experience. Not a good thing at all for society. In any event education should be something free of faith. God does not need our children to be brainwashed in order to work in their lives. God is at work in State schools just as much as in any Catholic (or Anglican, Jewish and Islamic) faith schools.

    Those are my 10 cents in any event.

  2. Hmm, +David could have killed two birds by one stone by paraphrasing Justinian and claiming that porn *causes* earthquakes 😉

    Problem with porn is that nobody’s really come up with a good definition beyond “I know it when I see it”. The pornification of culture is hardly ideal, but the uglier implications of a free press are arguably an improvement on the good old bad old days when the church was trying to suppress DH Lawrence. Although the fact that feminist objections to porn might now be expressed by people *within* the Church is obviously encouraging.

    The Big Questions came from Glasgow’s West End recently. There was at least one creotard homophobe ‘Christian’ Institute fan in the audience, but tickets were available to anyone interested (it was advertised on the SS egroup).Maybe it’s a bit like Stephen Fry’s famous line that the only people who bother to write in and complain to TV stations are invariably boilingly mad, so it’s silly to cite them as the Voice of the People!

    Much of the rhetoric on Sectarianism does, to me, seem to display a worrying degree of class-based patronising prejudice. Barcelona are the middle-class Guardianista’s football team of choice – yet they pointedly describe themselves as More than a Club, revelling in their link to Catalan identity. Yet Celtic being an Irish-Catholic club, and the very existence of Catholic schools, is considered indicative of Scotland or at least Glasgow’s stone-age nature. Strange.

  3. Steven says

    I know this is off topic but I just wanted to know if anyone knew a good hotel in Glasgow that is handy to get to Giffnock – which is where Jack Spong is speaking at a PCN Conference in June 2011.

    I have been recommended the Orchard Park and Redhurst which I think are nearby.

    Any other suggestions – either in Giffnock or perhaps city centre – assuming it has handy enough to commute.

    Thanks for any suggestions.


  4. agatha says

    I think you mean “lots” of us are at church? Although I probably am among the lost.

  5. Pam Richmond says

    Steven, the Orchard Park (known as the OP hereabouts) and the Redhurst are both very near the venue. I would go for one of them for convenience, otherwise take your pick from City Centre hotels and take the train out to Giffnock.

  6. Steven says

    Thanks Pam – I don’t really know Glasgow that well and was hoping to stay in the city centre so as to see a bit more of the city as well as attend the conference. I assume there are regular trains from Central to Giffnock?

    CitizenM gets very good reviews on tripadvisor – and seems quite reasonable (£69/night)! Any thoughts?

    Apologies Fr Kelvin for using your blog to make my travel arrangements!


  7. Oh, arrange away, Steven.

    As to whether there are trains to Giffnock, its a south-side question. I guess they might have trains over on that side of the river now. Its certainly a thought.

  8. Some folks say that the South Side even has an international airport, but that would be too silly.

  9. Pam Richmond says

    yes we have hot and cold running water too. Steven, trains to Giffnock from Central station are half hourly on the East Kilbride line. And CitizenM looks quite exotic from the outside – can’t say fairer than that.

  10. fr dougal says

    Oy! The Soo’ Side was where the Railwaymen’s Church (now St Ninian’s) was put up so there have been big smelly chuff-chuffs south of the River for yoinks!

  11. Steven says

    Going by Fr Dougal’s comment I may have to purchase a Glaswegian phrase book before my departure…

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