Friday, May 11, 2012

State persecution of dead preachers - 1686 and 2012

You couldn't make it up. In 1686 the Covenanter minister Alexander Peden - a faithful minister in rural Scotland who like so many of his contemporaries had been branded an 'enemy of the state' by the regimes of Charles II and his brother James II - died peacefully having evaded capture (including spending time in County Antrim) for many years. Enraged by this, his body was dug up by the authorities:

'...Peden was buried in Auchinleck kirkyard but forty days later dragoons heard of his death and his place of burial. They exhumed his body and took it to Cumnock on horseback. They intended to hang his corpse on the gallows as a warning to others, this did not happen though as the plan was upset with the intervention of the Earl of Dumfries, he feared an uprising from the people of Cumnock and Peden was buried at the foot of the gallows as a final mark of disgrace...' (excerpt from

Today I have heard that an English-based blogger who operates under the name of the great English Reformer Archbishop Cranmer (biography of the original Cranmer here) is being pursued by the Advertising Standards Authority for daring to place an advert for Coalition for Marriage on his blog. Cranmer's is an articulate and popular blog on themes of faith and current affairs. You can read about it here.

The original Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake in Oxford, where today you can visit the 'Martyrs Memorial'.

Here is the 'offensive' advert. If you are inclined to support the campaign, click here to do so. And D A Carson's latest book, The Intolerance of Tolerance, might be of interest to you.