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DISCLAIMER Please be aware that all the articles published in Christian Times magazine are the personal views of writers / columnists and not necessarily the views of Christian Times Magazine, or CTM is not responsible to anything written by writers / columnists. Our views are expressed in our CTM Bylaws www.ctimesmag.com


Anil Anwar President / Editor In Chief

Matthew Snape Editor CTM Britain Uk

David Clarke Managing Director Uk

CTM Britain Uk www.ctimesmag.com ctm.britain@gmail.com

CTM BRITAIN ISSUE

2

Contributors Matthew Snape Ralph Baldwin' s David Clarke Char lie Keeble Nicholas Sumner Kathyrn A. HitchinsÂ

Copyright Š 2018 by Christian Times Magazine (CTM) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, For permission requests, ctmbritain@gmail.com


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CONTENTS 9

CORBYN IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE UK-US’ SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP Matthew Snape

12 IT’S TIME TO TAME THE OLD TESTAMENT AND LET GOD OFF THE HOOK

22 GOVERNING POLITICS N i c h o l a s   S u m n e r

R a l p h B a l d w i n ' s

26 16 DID MOSES PEN THE BOOK OF GENESIS? AND ARE WE TO BELIEVE IT IS THE WORD OF GOD AND IS IT RELEVANT US TODAY? David Clarke

18 INEURODIVERGENT REBELS FOR ACCEPTANCE AND RIGHTS C h a r l i e  K e e b l e

CTM INTERVIEW WITH KATHRYN A. HITCHINS


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By Matthew Snape

CORBYN IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE UK-US’ SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP Fifteen years ago, George W. Bush visited the United Kingdom on his first official state visit. The left treated him with disdain. They intend to do the same with President Trump when he arrives in Scotland on Friday July 13th. There were mass protests against the Iraq War, yet Tony Blair ignored them and ensured Bush’s visit went smoothly. At one point, Blair’s cabinet were all personally introduced to the then president. But that is besides the point. Today’s Labour Party would not treat Trump with the same cordiality. It is merely a shadow of its former self from the New Labour days. In the late 90s and 2000s, Blair had made Labour a party of government, pragmatic in its relations with America, regardless of whether a Republican or a Democrat was president. Today, they are a party of protest focussed on destroying relations with Britain’s closest allies. In a GQ interview, Corbyn said he would like to work with Trump if he was elected prime minister and that he is looking forward to doing so. Yet because of his prior actions, the latter does not have much time for the former. The Daily Express reported the President will not have adequate time to meet with the Labour Leader. When Piers Morgan interviewed Trump, the President admitted he did not know who Corbyn was. This demonstrates the minimal impact the Labour Leader has made on the global stage before he is even prime minister. He may be famous in countries like Venezuela, but the President of the United States did not know who he was at one point. However, the implications for Britain’s special relationship with the US would be catastrophic if the Labour Leader were to ever gain the keys to 10 Downing Street, mostly because he 

is inconsistent towards nations who are a genuine threat to the UK and too quick to condemn this country’s allies. Corbyn recently attacked the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents if they cross the border illegally, even though that policy was brought in under his predecessor. It seems some journalists only like to highlight the problems with this policy when a Republican president is overseeing it, not a Democrat. There has not been one moment where the Labour Leader has provided the President with any credit, not even when he met North Korea’s Leader recently. Anyone with a sense of humanity is aware that separating children from their parents at border crossings and locking them in cages is immoral. However, there was no condemnation when Obama introduced the policy. And if the Democrats are truly appalled by it, why are they not collaborating with the President to reform this policy? Or maybe it’s because Trump leads the ‘wrong’ party and the left won’t aid the President with reforming this immigration policy? The point is, Corbyn is welcome to his opinion on the American border crisis. But before he voices it, he must remember who originally enforced it and he must demonstrate the same attitude towards the nations he admires the most.  Corbyn’s actions following the Salisbury poisoning earlier this year cast doubt on whether he has this country’s best interests at heart. He was right to urge for caution before the UK rushes to blame Russia for this attack without prior evidence first. Yet if these calls came from a politician with no Russian links whatsoever, they may carry more 


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credibility. After all, we all saw the consequences rushing to war with Iraq had in 2003 before proving Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. And whilst it has not been officially confirmed yet that the Russians did carry out the poisoning, it is difficult to suggest otherwise. Nonetheless, Corbyn is not a man to be trusted with protecting this nation’s security from Russia. He has an admiration for their former Soviet regime stretching back to the last century. He has never publicly criticised Russia’s atrocious human rights record. He has never condemned Putin. His call for dialogue with Moscow following the Salisbury attack was ridiculous, given the Russians will never admit to the incident. This is typical of his double standards towards dictatorships. But if it was the Trump administration that poisoned a former American citizen in the UK, watch how quickly he would attack the US. When Corbyn’s second-in-command, John McDonnell, appeared on the Robert Peston Show, he was asked about the appalling situation in Venezuela. Venezuela is Corbyn’s socialist utopia. He has been filmed supporting Hugo Chavez. Yet when McDonnell was asked to criticise the Venezuelan crisis, where humans and dogs are living off scraps, his excuse was ‘that is not proper socialism.’ This is a typical excuse of many on the left who still believe that during a post-Berlin Wall world, socialism has a chance of succeeding. Not even New Labour succeeded in readapting socialism to a neo-liberal order. Their attempt to implement socialism by the backdoor through minimum wage, social rights, eliminating child poverty and increasing public spending failed. But New Labour is the closest British socialism has got so far to winning elections in a post-Cold War environment. The Conservatives were right to warn in 1997 that New Labour was a ‘new danger’ to Britain, but at least under Blair, the United Kingdom did not sacrifice its relationship with the United States. Blair and Clinton had a close relationship and the former later sacrificed his political career to side with Bush in the 2003 Iraq War.

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The Labour Party was not hostage to the anti-Iraq elements inside their party.  In today’s political environment, Corbyn would ruin the special relationship with America. Trump is the UK’s best chance of survival once it has left the European Union. He is promising Britain a free trade deal that would be worth more to this country than the current trading arrangement we have with the European Union. For the first time since Bush occupied the White House, there is now a president who is unashamedly pro-British. One could argue Trump is more pro-British than any of his predecessors, which is a welcome change from the Obama years. Although Corbyn was close to winning last year’s general election, he didn’t, and that is good considering the impact his victory would have had on the special relationship.  If Corbyn was prime minister when Trump ordered air strikes against Syria, he would have further tarnished relations between both nations. Corbyn would have asked the President to seek a diplomatic solution at a time when America needs to enact global leadership. And considering the Labour Leader’s links to Iran, he would have annoyed the President further when he tore up the Iran Deal. Corbyn is no supporter of Trump’s agenda. The President is a small state, fair trade and low tax Republican, everything the Labour Leader is not. Imagine if Prime Minister Corbyn accused Trump of lowering taxes for the wealthy?  Furthermore, his support for the July 13thprotests against Trump’s UK visit are going to damage relations between them further. Labour cannot change this country by behaving like a party of protest, a lesson they have forgotten since the Blair days. They can only produce results by engaging with the leader of the most powerful nation in the world and by respecting the history between Britain and America. For example, when Theresa May became the first world leader to visit the White House following Trump’s inauguration, she encouraged the President to not sacrifice NATO yet, something Corbyn would have failed to do given he would rather Britain was completely 


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disarmed. A sense of reality and pragmatism has vacated the Labour Party since 2015. If I was Trump, I would be uninterested in meeting Corbyn whilst on a UK visit. However, it is not just Corbyn who is ruining the special relationship. Theresa May deserves criticism for the way she has conducted herself since Trump’s election. She has condemned every action the President has taken to fulfil his campaign pledges, like withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement and imposing tariffs on nations who are doing the same to the United States. There is no doubt Trump wants to provide Britain with a trade deal once it leaves the European Union. But will he be so generous towards a prime minister who has made him feel like a naughty schoolboy, or worse, a communist?  May has cowered to the left by taking Trump to Scotland instead of London. Again, this is something Blair did not do when he and Bush decided to take their respective nations to war with Iraq knowing there would be mass demonstrations in London. This shows that there is a new class of spineless career politicians occupying Westminster Hall right now and to provide Blair with credit where it is due, he admitted he would have worked with Trump if he was president during his premiership. The only hope of reviving the special relationship lies with the Conservatives, who should elect a leader proud of Britain’s American links. It is not the UK’s place to comment on a president’s domestic agenda. Until the current Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition learn that, our alliance with the Americans continues to decline. 

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IT’S TIME TO TAME THE OLD TESTAMENT AND LET GOD OFF THE HOOK

By Ralph Baldwin's

The “political” church has many responsibilities, often to sway leaders and groups of people to a more moral or conscientious direction.The political church has had to make compromises to be taken seriously by the people of the day. This is clear today. The Church of England wrestles with the topic of homosexuality as attitudes in the West are different to the prevailing attitudes in Africa.  This has been the case through history, especially with the political influence of the Greeks and the Roman son a male-dominated society. Today as a Christian I am going explain the concept of Eden and the first books of the Old Testament.  Readers of the Bible would be very right indeed to come to a swift conclusion about the perceived “attitude” of God in the older texts to the more detailed and advanced nature explained to us by Jesus himself.  I always found it ludicrous that God (a being we now know to be far more vast and powerful than our ancestors could ever have imagined) being portrayed as a bully struggling to control everything.  In an age where “magic” is taken for granted and where life is better for most (tragically not all yet), we lack an understanding of why those first books were written.  They were not historic documents in their inception or accounts made for our benefit.  They were the best available guide to life passed down from the wise to the people who needed it.  In the ancient tribes of man and, in this case, the amazing Jewish people, the “wise” played a key role in the maintenance and well being of any tribe. The first books started with Job.  This was no accident.  In this book we are given a story about a person who goes through many terrible experiences and the story goes to great lengths to 

explain his suffering and triumphs. It is truly a story about faith and certainly in God.  However, the idea that God would set the Devil on someone he cared for and loved is also ludicrous.  That the Devil played a role I have no doubt, but this was a lesson to help people back then cope with the appallingly difficult lives they led.  In fact,this story is undoubtedly an explanation as to why a more loving and peaceful lifeis unobtainable in this savage world.  They were seeking an explanation for the pain.  Do not believe me- read all the books at the beginning. They are obsessed with human suffering and guilt trips. God is portrayed as high executioner and a very harsh judge over a people who are never worthy. However, there is another element to these books at a time when the written word allowed wisdom to be passed around and the requirements of the preacher or wise man were saturated.  These were works designed to help people lead lives that limited suffering or brought tribal harmony and continuance into peril. It always caught my eye that in those books we read about which explored environmental catastrophes, climatic disasters, jealousy and murder that we missed the big one that is fundamental to our very lives: childbirth. At a time when populations were small and tribal survival depended on children, fertility was, well, quite strange. Oh! But I was wrong.  This topic was covered.This was incredibly important, especially as at this time the woman was celebrated across many cultures as a symbol of fertility and growth.  The Old Testament Books of Learning were being applied and their wisdom adopted for everyone at that time….in Adam and Eve.


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Now we are going to return to the modern era and examine the deepest, most instinctive part of our very natures just for a moment. We are going to do this before returning to the past. We still live in a world where appalling events to our universal grief occur.  In war we witness people suffering appalling injuries and we witness their reactions.  This is not something that is considered by them – they are utterly overwhelmed by agony and reduced to their most basic natures when they try to return to the safest, most secure and most loving places they have ever known – anything to escape the terrors and pains of this flawed Universe.  They adopt the foetal position.  They want to be back in the comforting womb of their mother, the paradise from which we are all expelled regardless of our political or religious views.It is a universal reality, just like death itself. Now let’s go back to Adam and Eve.  CS Lewis in his tale of Narnia has its residents (the wisest and most loving of whom was Lucy) as “Daughters of Eve” and “Men as Sons of Adam”.  For are we not?   I think he was close, for I suspect Adam and Eve represent all men and women and their path from perfection in a challenging world and good guidebooks always use an example of a person to make the lesson meaningful. There had to be a Mr and a Mrs to begin telling the tale about childbirth and sex.  We are told to believe that Eve, to satisfy her vegetarian compulsion, committed a terrible breach of rules and, along with Adam, sought knowledge for which they were punished in manners that make no sense at all.  Adam, for example, has been liberated by knowledge and technology and so does not necessarily have to work the earth….and Eve’s punishment in creating life is also ridiculous as there would have been better and more appropriate punishments available to fit the so-called crime. God described in the New testament is not dictatorial.  It is against his nature as we see in Jesus. Jesus always gives people a choice and gentle advice.  In fact, he offers Heaven as a reward – he is very much into “positive reinforcement” or, as sociologists refer to it as, “positive sanctions”.  Hence the sacrifice of Jesus to share in the 

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suffering of his people – a massive act that is entirely selfless. Also, had the Devil truly tempted Adam or Eve he would not have used the metaphorical “knowledge of evil” apple, which is a far greater leap than the one I am making here. I have no doubt he would have employed a more Cain and Abel level of sin and, in any case,one greater than merely disobeying God. God would never have permitted a snake in the Garden. The Garden would not have been Eden if he had and he would not have been an all-powerful God. I believe this story was massively corrupted by politicians to subjugate and blame women. Itwas an act of political jealousy and to appease people of that era when society was male-dominated at a time when women were nothing more than objects to be bought and sold. It just had to be Eve who led Adam astray…. a perversion to encourage male domination and to distrust the people whose role brings them closer to God than we men shall ever know. It also discouraged sex and procreation – especially amongst Jews and believers. Ok, so let’s get back on track.  The books then were guides to life.  They were written at a time of terrible suffering when seeing people in the foetal position whilst in agony was blamed on a range of causes. I believe that the original story of Adam and Eve was not one of compliance and control, but of love.  The two entered a romantic and perfect place as partners. They tasted the fruits of passion and produced a child whose harmony ended when he or she left the gentle peace of the mother’s womb and was born into a cold, terrible world.  I believe this story was an explanation of life and that Eve or Eden, as I shall think of her now, was celebrated as the bringer of joy, love and peace to a baby. She was the most important person to the tribe and to that little child, in the Universe. This was a story that educated Jews about sex and childbirth, just as the tail in Cain and Abel is designed to address male dominance by making murder a sin (to the full exclusion of women).The 


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Arc was a lesson in precautions and being careful to live responsibly and to be prepared for disasters in this world.   Jesus did not bother with the expulsion from paradise.He made sure we were focussed on the future and his suffering was no accident either. In my view his objective desire was to turn our heads away from the pains of this world by taking them onto his shoulders for all of us and to help us to focus our attention on building a better world for tomorrow. He categorically stated that we would achieve greater things than he had, and we have.  The Kingdom of Heaven remains our universal goal. If I could change anything in the Old Testament I would rename the tale that was meant to be a lesson for all of us as Adam and Eden.  It has been, in my view, one of the greatest sins over the millennia to blame women and more-so all of us with conceptions such as original sin.   Women provide Eden for our most precious and prized little citizens because they are Eden and God is not some mythological terror who changes his mind on a whim. He was, at the time, the best scientific explanation for people during that terrible period. Until Jesus came, we never really got to know him, except in Jesus’ respect and admiration of women.

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DID MOSES PEN THE BOOK OF GENESIS? AND ARE WE TO BELIEVE IT IS THE WORD OF GOD AND IS IT RELEVANT US TODAY? Foreword (By David Clarke) Introduction a new publication, ‘A Commentary on The Book Of Genesis’, by Dr. John Gill D.D.

When I became a Christian, on the 16th January, 1970 I learned about the Lord Jesus Christ through reading the bible for my self. Until then I had no real knowledge of the bible, nor what its message was. I knew nothing of the New Testament teaching of the Apostles, or what the Acts of the Apostle were all about. I had learned from Sunday school that Jesus had been crucified and that he had performed certain miracles but not who he was, or what his mission was. I learned about who the Lord Jesus was throughly my own reading. At first it was through reading a ‘’Good News for Modern Man’’ bible, as I was virtually illiterate. It was then I met Mormon’s and Jehovahs Witnesses and soon realized they taught error. I knew then a correct reading and understanding of the bible was important. I was encouraged, by other Christians,  to use the King James Bible as the modern versions of the bible were deficient it their teaching of who the Lord Jesus Christ was.  I learned of his death and resurrection and of the atonement that he made in order to  save sinners.  I read in Genesis of the creation of the heaven and the earth, the fall of man. I found the book of Genesis very helpful, as it told me of purpose of God in the creation of the world. I read of Noah’s flood, the confusion of tongues, at the tower of babel. Of the call of Abraham and of the children of Israel going down into Egypt, and there exit. I knew the bible to be a complete whole and to be relied upon, and that there are five books Moses, Genesis, Exodus,  Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy,  called the Tora or 

Pentateuch and had no reason to doubt this was the word of God All the Apostle, prophets and the Lord Jesus himself referred these books to be the world of God and penned by Moses. Jesus said to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of his day, that he had come in his fathers name (that is in the authority of his father) and said but you do not receive me: If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. John 5:43. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?  These writings are the five books of Moses. Within 18 months I had read the New Testament and the books of Moses and I had learned the doctrines of grace along with the importance of understanding the fall of Adam, and of the whole human race in him. I believed and received, without question, that the first five books of the bible were written  by Moses and benefitted from receiving the truths taught there I realised the truth of particular redemption, predestination and of the choice of some of the human race to obtain salvation by Jesus Christs through the grace of God. I had no difficulty in believing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Genesis account of creation and of Noah and the world wide flood, as 


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I believed the bible to be God’s word preserved in writing for us today. I could believe all the miracles recorded in the bible and saw no reason to doubt them as I believed God was well able to do all that was written. I received the truth of the virgin birth of Jesus and how he healed the sick, raise the dead, walk on water and how he was raised from the dead. In short I believed the gospel that the Apostles taught. It is sad and disappointing to hear that there has risen a generation of people and members of one own family, who deny that Moses penned the book of Genesis, deny that there was a world wide food and that Sodomy was the great sin for which Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed for. They ridicule what Moses wrote about in Genesis. It is for this reason I republished Dr John Gill’s commentary on Genesis. He is the only person to write a commentary on every verse of the bible. He was a scholar and read both Hebrew and Greek and was a Particular Baptists minister in London, England,  in the 18 century. He taught the doctrines of grace  and like all English speaking Christian churches world wide he used the King James Bible used by Christians world wide. All modern versions of the bible since 1948 are not reliable, as their New Testament is not  translated from the text underlying the King James Version,  but rather from an eclectic text (a bit here and a bit there) based upon of Wescot and Hort’s  a 4th Century Greek text used by Jehovah witnesses. Our Old testament text of our King James Bible is The Masoretic Text (MT, �, and  is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text use Jews and Christians from the beginning. We can rely upon this.

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Luke 24:25-27 My final words on this whole matter is,  ‘Oh fools and slow in heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken, aught not Christs to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. It seems to me that those who reject, or will not receive, the record that God has given in Genesis concerning His Son, and the account of the great flood,  that they have been deceived by the Devil. The answer of the Christian to such a temptation is to say,  ‘Get thee behind me Satan.  And for it is written, ‘Man shall not live by bead alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’.  Moses wrote of the first coming of Christ in to the world  in Genesis.  It says ,  ‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Gen 3:15. The gospel of Christs is built upon the foundations laid in the book of Genesis. Throw Genesis away and you throw the Lord Jesus away. In order to understand the errors that have been introduced in modern versions of the bible I remind you of the deceptive work of  Wescott and Hort in 1884 and red about it. I have  included for your  reference the following books  ‘Which Version’ by Philip Mauro’, ‘The Modern Version Incursion’, by Ken Matto and  Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity, by Dr John Gill listed as recommended reading at the end of this book.


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NEURODIVERGENT REBELS FOR ACCEPTANCE AND RIGHTS By Charlie Keeble

Inequality is a fact of life and we should accept all classes of citizens. This is how I describe my perspective of acceptance of autism and neurodiversity. In the case of my autism I am created unequal in nature as no two brains are the same. And it is of much greater value to accept me and other autistics for what they are. I believe we have a useful purpose for a civilised nation. I have a book that I wrote in 2017 called ‘A Puzzle in a Tunnel: Autistic Conservative Rebels on the Right’. It’s a story about my case for accepting autism into civil rights and nationwide communities. It’s not a book about autism, it’s a book about acceptance of autism and neurodiversity, and valuing that intellectual person’s credibility, granting them the right to achieve their own happiness, welfare and intellectual freedom. Most of the autism charities and campaigners are run by able bodied and non-autistics who speak up for them, but don’t use or allow autistic people themselves to fight their battles with them. I am speaking as myself for my own objective in this book and giving people an idea of what kind of positive and proactive abilities they have. It also fights back against the victimhood narrative that is used to create a negative perception of autism that many autistics consider to be counterproductive.  The smallest minority on Earth is the individual but the largest minority group is the disabled. Within that group is the intellectually disabled and I am one of them as being on the autistic spectrum. There are 700,000 people with autism in Britain and 3.5 million in United States. My objective in my activism is not for autism awareness; it’s for the acceptance of autism and people with intellectual disabilities. 

I belong to a group of rebel autistics known as neurodivergent rebels. Rebelling against a culture that values assimilation over individuality. Neurodivergent means that we have a broad range of intellectual conditions that are full of creativity, innovation, talent,compassion and strength. In ‘A Puzzle in a Tunnel’ I mentioned some famous scientists and artists who showed autistic traits in their behaviour and mode of thinking. Albert Einstein was one example. In his infancy he had some very difficult developments in speech and writing. He couldn’t speak until he was 4 and didn’t read until he was 7. This lead to many of his peers thinking that he wouldn’t amount to anything. But he proved them wrong, because he rebelled against them and learnt to be independent and capable of looking after himself. His autism was an attribute of his genius because he had special cognitive abilities. Researchers into his brain found that he had a larger than normal lobe called the Sylvian fissure, which explained his spatial processing and numerical abilities were enhanced (hence his inability to speak at an early age). I, too, had some speech and communication issues when I was young. Supposedly this may explain my own enhanced intelligence in my own skills with visual thinking and general knowledge.  Disablement is a topic that often becomes a weapon in the left to push their own agenda. They speak of us in their rhetoric as a burden on the welfare of society rather than a challenge to be undertaken. This leads to stigmatising the mental health of the intellectually disabled. This conjures up an image that is perpetuated by the mainstream media whereby they portray me and other neurodivergents as being pitied, pathetic creatures that are vulnerable and hopeless. 


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I find that negative picture to be very depressing and patronising. Time and time again they find ways of making me feel that I am so weak that I have no purpose in life, as if I have nothing credible to give to the world but to serve their altruistic practices. This is not compassion, this is taking advantage of someone to serve another person’s purpose. Don’t confuse altruism with compassion. Altruism is for when a person has no purpose but to serve a selfless deed for others, which can lead to being subservient to a master who takes everything that you do for himself. The left thinks they own the poor, the disabled and the mentally ill. But they don’t because I refuse to allow them to use me as their weapon. Besides when they use the disabled as a weapon they only take notice of their issues when they become destructive or in distress, which they use as a tactic to destroy their opponents. In June 2016 Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by a far right mentally disturbed man called Thomas Mair. He killed her in cold blood in the middle of the EU Referendum. I was a Vote Leave activist and I was horrified to see how the fallout unfolded. As an autistic I took it very personally because it vilified people like me as destructive psychopaths. Some even suggested that mentally disabled people should be kept from activities in the community and not allowed to mix with people.  What infuriated me was how this was being exploited by Remain groups and Labour as an opportunity to make me unworthy of acceptance. I’ve watched how dictatorships use mental health as a social weapon to discredit people to succeed and weaken people who are not in their favour.  I was also determined to fight for my freedom to achieve my own independence. There was no way those patronising do-gooders could use me as their weapon to enforce their agenda or to gain power. My weapon is my brain armed to enable myself with passion and purpose. Just because I am socially awkward doesn’t mean I am stupid or dangerous. I don’t need the judgement of others to validate my suitability to live on my own terms. 

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When I was growing up with my autism I learned that people are so judgemental that they won’t let you flourish. I refused to compromise and serve the terms of my school’s disability support service. They refused to allow me to be creative and achieve my ambitions. I put my mind on strike and refused to fit in with their world that gripped children with chronic fear. The school that I went to is an all-inclusive community comprehensive, a type of school for the wretched deplorables of society whose minds were stunted. They tell you what to think and consider reasonable thought futile. The patronising and belittling of autism from the left, like Democrats, Liberals and Labour reflects their approach to diversity and civil justice. Their diversity and equality manifesto is about assimilating all the people through conformity to serve the society under their leadership. In conservativism diversity and equality is embraced by recognising individuality and usefulness to their communities, which supports the civil rights of all classes of citizens. The individual is rewarded with greatness to himself. Empowering autistic people gives them the strength to be independent. With that independence they can be free spirits able to achieve their own happiness. Producing all the things they need to make a better world. The collectives of the left believe that everything should be given to the disabled to fit their purpose. But what the collectives have doesn’t suit me because their terms have a form of freedom without responsibility. Why do they moan about complaints about intelligence and human aspirations? Because they can’t prosper by seeking destruction, hence their resentment of creatives.  But equality of opportunity and the freedom to achieve your own happiness doesn’t come easy. I live in a system where my welfare services are prioritised before my ambitions. They are run by useless social justice warriors who seem to compartmentalise neurodivergent people, which limits autism’s freedom of choice. They are just 


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obsessed with putting people into the care of the state with self-righteous intentions. They think because they struggle to speak for themselves they can dictate their needs. The harsh criticism that I have of charity and disability support needs is also shared with other groups of people like those in poverty. One analogy that I have referenced in my book is a documentary called ‘Poverty, Inc.’. It has a saying from Machiavelli that goes ‘The reason there will be no change is because the people who stand to lose from change have all the power. And the people who stand to gain from change have none of the power.’ To achieve the freedom that I need to be happy, I need that power to break free from dependence of the welfare system to live a worthwhile life. With a conservativeideology, we can undertake a challenge to make autism shine like a bright beacon of neurodivergent colours bringing freedom and opportunity to this world. Charlie Keeble’s book ‘A Puzzle in a Tunnel’.


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GOVERNING POLITICS by Nicholas Sumner

To gain anything at all from this article, you will have to make an effort to think outside of the box; more than that, stand back a pace from the box and take a long hard look at what your mark on a ballot paper achieved. That’s right, on the face of it, you created a politician. If that word conjurs up a strong desire to take the lot of them outside and shoot them like dogs, as appealing and unlikely as the idea might be, you are probably going to agree with at least some of my observations. While clearly honourable in intent, the parliamentary system has steadily developed into a complete failure to sort out almost all problems of society to be found at levels where it really counts; poverty, secure employment, respect for others, religion and the law. A drastic need for revision of the system, let’s call it ‘Governing Politics’, has never been greater. What is meant by that phrase? The governing of politics is what I mean. From my perspective, as an observer of the political animal, many decades in fact, it’s long past time that decrepit animal was put in a sack with a brick and dropped in the Thames. A bit extreme I hear you mutter. But do they not deserve it? I’ll place a few arguments in front of you. Any complex subject is better observed stripped to the buff. Now that we’re outside of the box, let’s take a look around without meaningless jargon, endlessly repeated, sourced from unimaginative minds. Off with the covers over the massive engine of government. We only need to consider a rational axiom: ‘A country is a business.’ Many issues and complications attempt to clothe the fact but that bare fact remains; every country is a business. Get used to the phrase, I shall mention it more than twice. Where the imprecise science of government is practised, in various ways, it’s ground where the politician weed will take root, flourish and 

successfully crowd out all possibility of alternative more productive growth. I have become convinced that ‘politics’ is the clear and present enemy of progress in both business and societal affairs. Politics has become particularly dangerous in the UK. I’ll explain that. A country is a business. The motive of politicians, admitted or denied, satisfies an urge for selfpromotion that entirely ignores suitability for a career in management. Motive becomes immersed in a shrouded lackadaisical political system that places career ahead of competence. Here, a passing reference to the Peter Principle (if you need to, look it up) – politicians, instead of rising to their level of incompetence, they rise to head a department about which they know nothing. For example, the current Defence Secretary. There have been many before him in all departments and he is not alone today. The theatre of politics, while entertaining enough, is damaging all aspects of society. It makes not a scrap of sense to elect hundreds of people who have strong opposing views, often wildly uninformed and each one pretending otherwise, and expect them to reach cohesive action where the future of millions of people can be discussed and the best way forward decided upon; to organise a practical plan that can see beyond the end of next week, that will work and be in place for as many years as it takes to complete, in the best way possible. A country is a business. Parliament, protracted arguments that lead nowhere, delay decisions, confuse issues, often only to defeat a point made, all in the name of political point scoring. The problem is compounded by another bunch of political and otherwise ill-informed characters dozing next door with sufficient strength of opinion to make running the business even more difficult. Add into the mix, the politician


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We are still outside the box, thinking on. Democracy, you say, isn’t that what it’s all about? Successful business gives short shrift to democracy and rightly so. Take another close look at where your mark on that ballot paper has got you. Opportunity to vote a fortunate individual the right to represent you in Parliament and another to a comfortable seat on the gravy train to Europe. And what exactly has either one of them done for you? Nothing, do I hear you say? That would be about right. There is a popular misconception abounding, brought about by hearsay, that the politician has an essential purpose. What? What positive purpose do they serve? They don’t serve you. Maisy pulling pints of foaming ale down at the King’s Head does that, admirably no doubt. Politicians pull strings on the cloak of law ever tighter to avoid cold winds of discontent and first and foremost, having convinced you the gullible of many things including their frequent need for a pay rise when every high street has a food bank, they serve themselves. And now there’s Europe. . Not my intention to distract from the point of this article but too tempting not to throw in a comment. There is a connection. If you voted to remain in Europe and maintain that opinion you might as well stop reading right now. I’m wasting your time. You’ll need to broaden your mind before the concept opinionated here would have a chance against the security of the status quo – staying put is a bit like sucking your thumb while stuck in a mud patch, isn’t it?There are so many reasons for quitting the behemoth (insert an M into the acronym and you have another large flightless bird that serves no purpose). I could write a book on the subject. Couldn’t you all? Explain to me, those in favour of continuing the punishment, if you’re still reading, why the European Parliament shifts kit and caboodle from Brussels to Strasbourg and back again once a month for no good reason. I’m sure Maisy down at the King’s Head would agree it’s madness. Do you actually need additional reasons to leave? This writer has spent a career at sea, so believe me when I tell you it’s a good idea to get off a sinking ship.

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A country is a business. Twenty-eight countries under one flag attempting to act together cannot possibly be a business. It is becoming increasingly obvious the twenty-seven countries remaining next year will have a crisis on their hands the extent of which has barely surfaced. The refugee situation will bring the EU down, partly of course as a result of the lack of action by politicians. I am resident in France, observing the consequences of ridiculously short-sighted brainless political decisions taken by those who rarely, if ever, witness the effects of their lack of constructive action. A country is a business and I don’t care if you agree with that or not, simply because it is. For any business to thrive and prosper, large or small, let’s have a look at what is not required, an unusual approach I’ll admit. Six hundred and fifty people intimately involved with both major and minor policy decisions, most of them almost totally uninformed about the business in hand. If decisions affecting ‘the business’ are agreed, those decisions are passed on for further discussion and often rejection by even less informed people who might as well have wandered in off the street as far as that business in hand is concerned. Decisions taken by ‘the business’ are subjected to coercion, influence and amendment from interested parties each of whom may or may not have an undeclared agenda that is no part of the business policy. Need I go on? Not the way to run a railway. I’m afraid it gets worse, and is going to get much worse in times to come. Society has many incremental and steadily increasing problems ‘the business’, as it stands, cannot solve. There is an inherent lack of understanding of the nature of society’s problems simply because differences are too great for an understanding. Inequality is the word. Life in Britain has maintained an unequal equilibrium through ignorance. But things are changing, fast. Through various mediums of communication many millions of people on the unfortunate side of inequality have at last caught up with what they don’t have, especially when it’s flung in their face continuously without least attempt to level the balance. Matters cannot


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possibly go on as they are. The democratic principles the current system of government relies on will not assist a solution, it will only make matters worse. The inevitable threat to democracy that inequality will produce needs to be dealt with before a complete breakdown of society occurs. Conversely, a complete breakdown of society may be necessary to achieve equality, and I understand that prospect may concern the fortunate people on the high side of the balance who find dirt on their hands offensive. It is probable, unless they are of an unusually generous nature they will almost certainly have contributed to the breakdown without being aware of the fact. The alarm bells of grossly and hopelessly inefficient and damaging government have been ringing for some considerable time. As long as a food bank has a door open in Britain’s innumerable towns and cities, as long as anyone sleeps without option on Britain’s streets, the warning bells ignored where they are heard, a very real threat to society as we know it will exist and come ever closer.  I believe there is a solution to be found by thinking outside the box. Work it out for yourself. Here’s a clue; it may be the beginning of a solution when you find a lot of Members of Parliament in the queue at your local labour exchange (I prefer that term, it says it how it is), and perhaps when that meaningful day comes, one of the drifters in and out of the upper chamber could offer his ermine fringed cloak one night to a cold hungry individual sleeping on a park bench. I mean, in a good if not ideal world, what else would he do with it? You’ll find this writer’s solution to the important matters raised here in The Herring Barrel, his debut novel.


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CTM INTERVIEW WITH KATHRYN A. HITCHINS

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? K A Hitchins: The idea of a literary pilgrimage is slightly alien to me. A pilgrimage is a journey with spiritual significance and is linked to a person’s faith. There are many writers I greatly admire, but not to the extent that I would put my faith in them or their words and would actively would seek out their birthplace or home as an act of reverence. However, I do like the idea that reading a novel is walking an imaginative road mapped out by its writer. Reading a book is a small miracle – one human being entering the thoughts and life of another, the voice of the author speaking directly to us, 

sometimes echoing down the centuries, spanning continents, or bridging cultures and perspectives. It’s easy to remain fixed within one’s own limitations and expect other people to change. That’s why books are so important; they are transformative. Reading a book allows us to enter into another person’s way of seeing. That’s why I’m passionate about the power of stories to change lives, because they have transformed my own. What is the first book that made you cry? K A Hitchins: I really can’t remember, but I do love books that move me emotionally. We are emotional and relational creatures, and reading – 


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while often a solitary occupation – does enable us to enter the lives of fictional characters and experience vicariously a little of the strange and wonderful and terrible thing it is to be human. While I enjoy an entertaining thriller as much as the next person, I prefer books that touch my heart and mind, allowing me experience the joys and sorrow of a stranger, helping me to see the world differently and putting my own difficulties into perspective. And hopefully become less selfabsorbed in the process! Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly? K A Hitchins: To be a writer, you need to be able to write, and you need to write something that other people will want to read. However, for an author to move readers deeply, I think they need to have a soft and open heart that doesn’t shy away from pain – their own or other people’s. A book has to go to the dark places and have those lump-in-thethroat scenes in order to have a satisfactory and redemptive resolution.  What inspired you to write 'The Gardener's Daughter'? K A Hitchins: I volunteered for about 18 months with the weekly Christian Union in a co-educational secondary school in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Most of the kids who came along had little or no church background, but were attracted to the meetings because of the fruit and cakes on offer, the games and discussions. It was a safe space for them to talk about the issues that mattered to them. The school would not allow us to directly present the Gospel; we were only given permission to respond to the students’ questions. This meant we had to devise games and conversations about current issues in the hope that the students would ask us what we believed.  While I was there I was struck by how difficult it is to explain the Gospel in a short space of time to youngsters who have very little Biblical knowledge. Whatever question they asked, the answer often needed to incorporate a potted overview of the Bible from creation, fall, incarnation, sacrifice, repentance, salvation and eternal life.  All the best 

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questions seemed to happen in the last few minutes of the sessions, and by the time a week had gone by the opportunity to continue the discussion had passed. I decided to write a book which, on the surface would be a pacey thriller, but would weave in Biblical themes so that in any later discussion you could say to a non-Christian ‘It’s a bit like …’ (mentioning a plot point in the novel) as a kind of shorthand. I also hoped it would enable individual Bible passages to be seen in the context of the grand sweep of the salvation narrative. In particular, I wanted to focus on our perennial search for identity, which is only truly found in relation to the Father heart of God.The book can be read at different levels. It’s an allegorical story and raises issues about the meaning and purpose of life, but on the other hand it’s a work of commercial fiction that can be read as a coming-ofage thriller. When Ava Gage, my motherless nineteen-year-old heroine, accidentally discovers she was adopted by horticulturalist, Theo Gage, as a baby, she runs away in a fit of anger to find her real father. Penniless and cut-off from everything she’s ever known, and trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a ruthless criminal gang, she unearths the shocking truth behind her mother’s death and discovers her biological roots.She learns that appearance isn’t everything, and that love arrives in the least-looked-for places. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice? K A Hitchins: Just like the Christian life, writing requires daily focus and diligence. There are no quick and easy results. Writing is about perseverance and a willingness to learn and hone one’s skills.  I pray about what I’m going to write, asking God to help me. I also read the Bible more closely when I’m writing as I want ensure that, in my humanness, I’m not communicating a message which is contrary to the Gospel. However, I’m not afraid to tackle big questions and I leave it to my reader to come to their own conclusion. I don’t 


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believe in preaching, but in prompting my readers to ask the questions about the meaning, purpose and direction of their lives. What did you edit out of this book? K A Hitchins: The book was originally written for the general market. When it was picked up by a Christian publisher, we edited out some mild swear words. The biggest change to the story was that I revealed the identity of Ava’s father during a scene in the middle of the book. My editor quite rightly said this needed to come at the end when the action reaches its dramatic climax. However, as the motives for Ava’s behaviour in the second half of the book were predicated on her knowing her biological Dad, I had to do quite a lot of rewriting. The action basically remained the same, but the reasons why things happened changed significantly.   Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? K A Hitchins: Yes I do read my reviews. Thankfully I’ve not received any reviews that have upset me yet. I’ve had a really great response from readers and I appreciate the feedback. I’m not expecting to please everyone, particularly as I tackle some pretty big issues (disability, aging and loss in ‘The Girl at the End of the Road’; atheism, medical ethics, and euthanasia in ‘The Key of All Unknown’; and fatherhood and identity in ‘The Gardener’s Daughter’). My first two books were received very well. Both were shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers’ Choice Award 2017 with ‘The Key of All Unknown’ being joint runner up. Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people will find? K A Hitchins: To a greater or lesser extent, all my books follow a redemptive arc, and portray Biblical themes. ‘The Gardener’s Daughter’ can be read as a straightforward thriller, and many people have read and enjoyed it as such. However, it also follows closely the thematic sweep of the Bible, from the Fall, through Sacrifice and on to 

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Restoration. Christian readers can clearly see the way I have woven passages from Genesis and the story of the prodigal son (or in this case daughter) into my novel. But my non-Christian readers often don’t pick this up. However, I believe the reason they enjoy the book is because it contains deep truth, even if they don’t recognise the Biblical source. How long on average does it take you to write a novel? K A Hitchins: The first drafts of all three of my novels have been written in less than six months. Then I spend some time editing and working with my editor which is usually about another three months. Why is the title of 'The Gardener's Daughter' important? K A Hitchins: I dedicated the book to my late father, Alec Hitchins, who was a professional artist and keen gardener. Since losing him, I’ve realised what a wise, loving and stable influence he was on my life. The title also alludes to the phrase,“my Father is the gardener” from John 15 verse 5 (New International Version). How will reading 'The Gardener's Daughter' change the minds or hearts or lives of readers? K A Hitchins: I’m hoping it will encourage people to look more closely into the claims of Christianity. God is a loving Father who longs for us to return His love freely, not out of fear or compulsion. He wants us to trust Him as a child trusts a parent, and the death and resurrection of Jesus gives us the opportunity to mend the relationship that was broken by our wilful independence and belief that we know best how to live our lives. The Bible is the greatest love story that has ever been written, and I hope my writing will point people towards it so they can find out for themselves how much they are loved. How difficult was it to bring these kinds of ideas into this book?


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I was very clear when I started writing ‘The Gardener’s Daughter’ that I wanted it to be the kind of book that Christians could give to a nonChristian, or suggest to a book group, as a conversation starter about the Gospel. It was not until I started writing in an allegorical way that I realized just how perfect the Bible is. It’s impossible to communicate the Gospel in a better way that the Bible. However, I hope that ‘The Gardener’s Daughter’ will whet the appetite of those who wouldn’t think of picking up a Bible themselves. I also hope it will give them a better understanding of the way the pieces of the Gospel fit together into such a beautiful whole. Now that people have read “'The Gardener's Daughter', what do you hope they will do next? K A Hitchins: I long for people to encounter Jesus and experience the Father heart of God for themselves. I hope the book will encourage Christians in their faith, and be part of the spiritual journey of those who are still searching for meaning and purpose in their lives. It would be lovely if readers wanted to read and review my other books. ‘The Girl at the End of the Road’ tells the story of a shallow and materialistic young man who accidentally finds himself  falling in love with a woman on the autistic spectrum. ‘The Key of All Unknown’ is a whodunit told from the point of view of the victim - a woman locked in a persistent vegetative state, who believes she will break out of her coma whenshe remembers what happened to her. I wanted to explore what an atheist might be thinking about on the brink of death, and challenge the view that science disproves the existence of God.

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Christian Times Magazine, Issue 2 UK July 2018  

Our Uk Edition

Christian Times Magazine, Issue 2 UK July 2018  

Our Uk Edition

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