Archbishop Jonathan Blake

The Most Reverend Jonathan Blake, Presiding Archbishop of the Open Episcopal Church B.A. (Hons), Dip. Pastoral Studies. Bishop's Haven, 105 Danson Crescent Welling DA16 2AS U.K. Mobile: 07767 687711 The Church is a member of The International Council of Community churches and the World Council of Churches. Married and a proud Dad.

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Location: London, Kent, United Kingdom

Gassed in Tehran, seized in Kabul, helped Mother Teresa, almost murdered, raised £300,000, ordained 1981, street sleeper, pilgrim to Auschwitz, Kenya + Pakistan 4 peace, began 1st inter-faith NHS chapel, wrote text on Parliament, convicted, relinquished his 12 year Anglican post 2 be independent, baptised 1000's in homes, on Mt Snowdon + in circus ring, did wedding underwater, wrote ‘For God’s Sake Don’t Go To Church’, nailed 95 Theses to Canterbury cathedral, arrested, co-founded the Society for Independent Ministry, was consecrated a bishop, co-founded the Open Episcopal Church, did 1st gay wedding on prime time TV, sued Associated Newspapers 4 defamation, co-consecrated 1st women bishops 4 England. Wales + Scotland, accommodated the homeless, took Mass 2 sex workers + posted it, elected Archbishop, arrested 4 taking kids on roof, founded ‘When No One’s Watching', became an ICV, did Jade Goody's wedding , invited 2 Downing St, wrote 'That Old Devil Called God Again', arrested 4 times campaigning against child abuse, had harassment conviction/restraining order quashed on appeal, appealing conviction 4 blogging 2 stop paedophile to ECHR.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


 Dawkins illustrates our hypocrisy. So many are happy to make such a decision in secret,  but don't want to admit it or talk about it. The Times, instead of responding to the challenge that Dawkins raises, that bringing a Downs child into the world is 'immoral' when there is a choice otherwise, chooses to sensationalise and personalise the issue in tabloid style. Sentimentality and emotive arguments to his statement create a poor defence. Highlighting what we can learn both from a Downs child and in caring for them provides weak justification for entrapping a human being into a Downs condition. Dawkins makes us face up to the truths we find uncomfortable. 

One cherishes the life of a person that has been born and delights in all she/he has to give, Downs or otherwise. However, on a small overpopulated planet, where medical advances have enabled us to achieve, protect and enhance life, the best choice is to bring able children into the world.

I suggest the able must want to make the best choices for their offspring. Putting it another way. If a parent had the choice before them to press a button by which an able child was born or a disabled child was born, it would be perverse for them to select deliberately a disabled child. What moral right would they have to destine a person to enter this world in a disabled condition?

Life's evolution requires our intelligent choices to ensure the best for others as ourselves. We choose full health and functioning for ourselves as we must for others, particularly those we are privileged to  help create.

I agree wholeheartedly that great love and kindness is often displayed by Downs people in contrast to the able and recognise the challenge that poses. However I do not believe it provides a moral premise upon which we can choose Downs for a child nor a justification to be selective in our application of medical advances to ensure there are Downs births for our edification.

I don't think there are the statistics to demonstrate that Downs are inclined always to display greater loving virtue than others, only anecdotal individual cases. The suggestion that the world would be better populated by a Downs version of the human race is down more to sentiment I suggest than hard analysis.

The difficulty lies in what may be deemed a patronising approach towards those who are Downs. For instance, if someone could press a button to make you a Downs today would you accept this, in search of this Utopian world of compassion and embracing of Downs as an advantage. I suspect that few, if any able bodied people would opt to be Downs. If so, how dare we deliver that to the unborn.

I  do not see a Downs person as a blight, rather most often as an oasis of love and innocence, different as we all are, and of equal value to all others. However, this again does not justify deciding that the unborn should be Downs. We must choose, where we can, for all to be born with equal health. Together we have to face the challenges of life. I find no purchase in the argument that because we can learn much from a Downs person, we must destine them to be so, nor that because we can learn much from a paraplegic, we should enforce them into such a life.

A person born with Downs is as equal to everyone else. I think that unequivocally. However at the unborn level, when choice is available, I do not believe a parent has the right to choose a disability for their child.


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