Thursday, May 29, 2008

Church of England showing traces of Christianity shock

From last week's editorial in the Church of England newspaper :

If recent reports of trends in religious observance prove to be correct, then in some 30 years the mosque will be able to claim that, religiously speaking, the UK is an Islamic nation, and therefore needs a share in any religious establishment to reflect this. The progress of conservative Islam in the UK has been amazing, and it has come at a time of prolonged decline in church attendance that seems likely to continue.

This progress has been enthusiastically assisted by this government in particular with its hard-line multi-cultural dogma and willingness to concede to virtually every demand made by Muslims.

At all levels of national life Islam has gained state funding, protection from any criticism, and the insertion of advisors and experts in government departs national and local. A Muslim Home Office adviser, for example, was responsible for Baroness Scotland’s aborting of the legislation against honour killings, arguing that informal methods would be better. In the police we hear of girls under police protection having the addresses of their safe houses disclosed to their parents by Muslim officers who think they are doing their religious duty.

While men-only gentlemen’s clubs are now being dubbed unlawful, we hear of municipal swimming baths encouraging ‘Muslim women only’ sessions and in Dewsbury Hospitals staff waste time by turning beds to face Mecca five times a day — a Monty Pythonesque scenario of lunacy, but astonishingly true. Prisons are replete with imams who are keen to inculcate conservative Islam in any inmates who are deemed to be culturally ‘Muslim’: the Prison service in effect treats such prisoners as a cultural block to be preached to by imams at will. Would the Prison service send all those with ‘C of E’ on their papers to confirmation classes with the chaplain?! We could go on.

The point is that Islam is being institutionalised, incarnated, into national structures amazingly fast, at the same time as demography is showing very high birthrates. Charles Taylor’s new and classic work on the Secular Age charts the rise of the secular mindset and what he calls the ‘excarnation’ of Christianity as it is levered out of state policy and structures. Christianity is now regarded as bad news, the liberal elite’s attack developed in the 1960s took root in the educationalist empire, and to some extent even in areas of the church.

Today the Christian story is fading from public imagination, while Islam grows apace.

I've been saying for ages that nature abhors a spiritual or cultural vacuum.

The decline of Christian values is destroying Britishness and has created a "moral vacuum" which radical Islam is filling, one of the Church of England's leading bishops has warned. The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, claimed the "social and sexual" revolution of the 1960s had led to a steep decline in the influence of Christianity over society which church leaders had failed to resist. He said that in its place, Britain had become gripped by the doctrine of "endless self-indulgence" which had led to the destruction of family life, rising levels of drug abuse and drunkenness and mindless violence on the streets.

The bishop warns that the modern politicians' catchphrases of respect and tolerance will not be strong enough to prevent this collapse of traditional virtues, and said radical Islam is now moving in to fill the void created by the decline of Christianity.

His claims, in an article published in the new political magazine Standpoint, come just days after he accused the Church of England of failing in its duty to convert British Muslims to Christianity.

Dr Nazir-Ali claims in the new article that Britain, previously a "rabble of mutually hostile tribes", would never have become a global empire without the arrival of Christianity. But he said the Church's influence began to wane during the 1960s, and quotes an academic who blames the loss of "faith and piety among women" for the steep decline in Christian worship. He says Marxist students encouraged a "social and sexual revolution" to which liberal theologians and Church leaders "all but capitulated". "It is this situation that has created the moral and spiritual vacuum in which we now find ourselves. While the Christian consensus was dissolved, nothing else, except perhaps endless self-indulgence, was put in its place."

Yup. The cultural revolution did a great job on the old culture, but forgot to replace it with a new one.

The bishop, who faced death threats earlier this year when he said some parts of Britain had become "no-go areas" for non-Muslims, said Marxism has been exposed as a nonsense but went on: "We are now confronted by another equally serious ideology, that of radical Islamism, which also claims to be comprehensive in scope." Asking what weapons are available to fight this new "ideological battle", the bishop said the values trumpeted by modern politicians such as "respect, tolerance and good behaviour" are "hardly adequate for the task before us".

You've got it. No-one's going to the barricades for "tolerance".

"The consequences of the loss of this discourse are there for all to see: the destruction of the family because of the alleged parity of different forms of life together; the loss of a father figure, especially for boys, because the role of fathers is deemed otiose; the abuse of substances (including alcohol); the loss of respect for the human person leading to horrendous and mindless attacks on people."

The bishop added that Christian hospitality has been replaced by the "newfangled and insecurely founded" doctrine of multiculturalism, which has led to immigrants creating "segregated communities and parallel lives".

He said many values respected by society, such as the dignity of human life, equality and freedom, are based on Christian ones. But he warned that without their Christian backbone they cannot exist for ever, and that new belief systems may be based on different values.

"Radical Islamism, for example, will emphasise the solidarity of the umma (worldwide community of the Muslim faithful) against the freedom of the individual. Instead of the Christian virtues of humility, service and sacrifice, there may be honour, piety and the importance of 'saving face'."

In an implicit criticism of the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent claim that the adoption of some parts of Islamic law is unavoidable, Dr Nazir-Ali said: "Recognising its jurisdiction in terms of public law is fraught with difficulties precisely because it arises from a different set of assumptions from the tradition of law here." He said that the Church of England must retain its importance in public life even if it does not remain privileged as the established church.

"It is necessary to understand where we have come from, to guide us to where we are going, and to bring us back when we wander too far from the path of national destiny."
It's funny how immigrants like the good Bishop, his colleague John Sentamu and Joel Edwards seem to have a better handle on what's happening than native Churchmen.


Anonymous said...

If only he was Archbishop of Canterbury instead of our current Marxist, dhimmi idiot

Edward said...

Is it too much to hope that there's life in the old CofE dog yet...?

Anonymous said...

I've just bought a copy of Standpoint and very good it is too. The Spectator has long ceased to have any intellectual coherence and it is good to have a publication to oppose the left-liberal consensus one sees espoused by Prospect every month.

Between the good Bishop of Rochester, the better Cardinal Pell of Sydney and the best Pope Benedict XVI there are the kernels of a considered resistance.

Paulinus said...

Ot but here's an insightful and rueful absentee dad,,30100-1317582,00.html

Bit late, though

Brian said...

I found this article by Theodore Dalrymple rather interesting:

Anonymous said...

This might probably be the only occassion in recent history when it has not been advantageous for the Government to appoint a member of an ethnic minority to a senior public post.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how immigrants like the good Bishop, his colleague John Sentamu and Joel Edwards seem to have a better handle on what's happening than native Churchmen.

Possibly they do have a better handle, but remember that their white colleagues could not possibly say similar things. They would be attacked for racism and have to make a grovelling retraction at best, lose their jobs at worst. Non‐whites have privileges whites don't have, among them the right to comment on other non-whites and what they're doing to the country.

Anonymous said...

The good bishop leaves me seething.

I am fed up to the absolute back teeth with being told by those on the left and the right, but nowadays it is mostly on the right, what a stinking pit Britain is and what a depraved, morally bankrupt lot the British are. If this was aimed at another nation, it would be called xenophobia, but so many on the British right lap this up with masochistic glee. To reduce Britain to this litany of simplistic cliches like 'mindless self-indulgence' is just insulting, and it is staggering to me that so many, especially on the right, do not merely not object to such blatant stereotyping but cheer it on. If I were to say that America had no culture, the British right would correctly accuse me of anti-Americanism, but accuse Britain of having no culture and the British right falls over itself to agree. Self-hatred is indeed alive and well.

We have lost 'humility, service and self-sacrifice', have we? It makes me want to shout with rage for all those millions of my fellow countrymen and women whose lives are currently made up of just that (the bishop has a very selective view of who is worthy of representing the British nation) - and to laugh indeed at the thought that the British empire was founded on these three pious virtues, and not on overwhelming self-confidence, military might and not a little bloodthirsty ruthlessness. The bishop succeeds in both insulting the current generation and sentimentalising and trivialising the past.

There is much that is wrong with Britain (to speak for myself, I have been violently mugged twice, and held at knifepoint, bound and gagged, while my home was ransacked around me) - but I would never let this blind me, as it seems to blind so many, to this wonderful jewel of country that is Britain, and this peerless nation that is the British.

We face many challenges, the threat of radical Islam being one of the more serious. But we will not succeed in overcoming them unless we regain a little of our self-confidence and not wallow in this self-flagellation, victimhood ('those nasty liberal elite types did it' - this is pathetic argumentation; grow up and take responsibility instead of shifting the blame to bogeymen) and outright anti-British sentiments. As I said before, self-hatred is alive and well in Britain, and lurks strongly on the British right. I am deeply proud of my country, not blind to its faults, but willing to defend it against the caricatures that so many seem to want to create.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me "British and proud of it" if you are still proud after being mugged twice and "bound and gagged, while my home was ransacked around me" it is you who likes being a victim.

The reason a lot of the 'right' although I don't like those terms bitch about the country is because we can see the total disaster that leftists have done to the country since WW2. We have lost our heavy industry, lost our military strength, lost control of our borders, even lost a huge chunk of our sovereignty to the EU and Britain has been broken up with 'devolution'. Our kids think a good time is taking so much drink and drugs they can't remember the night before. The streets aren't safe with stabbings and shootings becoming almost a daily ocurrence.
New Labours supposily amazing economy was build on a property market bubble (based on massively increased personal debt) thats about to pop, and all the tax money they had from it has been wasted.

I feel a large part of our problems are down to people who have grown up supporting (and promoting) these failed marxists policies just can't admit they were wrong all along and have to pretend there isn't a real problem as our country is transformed around us.

We don't just need self-confidence we need something to be self-confident about!

Now I am not trying to say Britain is all bad, its still one of the best countries, but ask yourself what is Britain going to be like in 25-50 years time? Thats where many of us are worried.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - I was the victim of three crimes, but that's the limit of my victimhood. These events were amongst the most traumatic of my life - but I do not use them to excuse any bad behaviour on my part or, worse, to stereotype an entire nation by tarring the whole of Britain with the same brush.

You say that you are negative about your country because of the 'disaster' that 'leftists' have infliced (which leftists? Thatcher?). This is exactly the kind of argument that I object to - if we face problems today, they are problems of our own makings. Blaming 'leftists' is to imply that the British are little more than sheep led blindly by evil elites into 'disaster'. The problems that we face are our own; saying that we are the victims of 'liberal elites' or 'Europe' or 'devolution' or whatever is just shifting the blame. The reason I cannot stand much of the left is because of its love of the victim tag - but I find it is just as prevalent on the right.

But the main reason I object to what I might call the 'angry' right is that it seems take delight in dwelling on all that is bad about Britain while wilfully ignoring all that is good. This is not patriotism. Patriotism does not mean being blind to faults; but, equally, it does not mean spending one's time exclusively telling the world what a dreadful country Britain is and what a bunch of immoral, uneducated oiks the British are.

You say we have nothing to be self-confident about. There we must disagree. I am well into middle age and am more than old enough to remember predictions of doom of what might happen in 25 years' time that stretch back much more than 25 years. Yes, we have a clapped out, pathetic government, yes, we have some serious social problems, but I am not ashamed to tell anyone how proud I am to be British. There are aspects of Britain's past of which I am ashamed, as there are aspects of its present of which I am ashamed. But I do not generalise from these negative aspects to stereotype its past (as the left enjoys doing) or its present (as the 'angry' right does). Self-hatred is an ugly trait, whether it emanate from the right or the left.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm not a big fan of Thatcher she was a liberal globalist, although I am some what sympathetic due to the chaos she inherited.

I just can't understand your comments about it being all 'our' fault..
There has never been an appetite in Britain for a political union with the EU, every poll I have seen has been massively against, yet our elites continue to push us in. And even now after the clear promise by all 3 party's of a referendum on the EU constitution they find a way of denying us.
No British government has been elected on the premise of mass immigration yet both main parties have pushed that on us.
There was no support in Britain for the Iraq war yet that happened regardless.
What about global warming? that is not driven by grassroots concern, its a political football used by elitists to tell the little people what they can and can't do.
The list could go on, but the point is many of the big things that have happened to Britain which have had a huge impact on our culture have not been welcomed or supported by the people.
Devolution might have been welcomed in Wales (barely) and Scotland but are the English happy with the settlement, who cares?

I don't read the angry right as dwelling on the bad things in Britain, I see it as many of them foreseeing a lot of the problems we now have and are just glad that other people are starting to open their eyes too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - you and I may not be that far apart on the actual policies, but I still disagree with virtually everything you say. Sorry.

The reason I object strongly to your 'the elites did it to us' argument is twofold. Firstly, I think it is, to use the fashionable phrase, deeply disempowering. It makes us into helpless victims, which is not a good place to be (and, as I have said before, this is an argument beloved of the left with which I have no sympathy).

Secondly, I simply do not believe that it is borne out by the facts. Take Europe. You say that European integration has been pushed through in the teeth of public opposition. Really? I have been involved to a greater or lesser degree in every general election since 1970. Europe has been a major issue at each one. And, pretty much without exception, the most pro-European party has won and the anti-European party has lost (you could argue that the 1974 elections were the only exceptions, but they were followed in 1975 with the referendum that had a wopping pro-European majority). In the 1980s Labour consistently argued for withdrawal - and was slaughtered at the ballot box. In the 1990s they changed their views, the Tories became more Eurosceptic, and, hey presto, we get the election of 1997. However much you might disapprove of Europe, it is an inarguable truth that pro-European parties win elections and anti-European parties lose them (remember 2001, when Europe was a central theme - another Tory disaster). You say that opinion polls support your view - but we are not governed by opinion polls but by votes - and the votes just are not on your side.

Or how about devolution? Personally, I have always opposed this policy strongly, and it would on its own have been enough to prevent me from voting Labour in 1997. But I have to admit that the public was not with me: the issue was debated to death, it was in the manifesto clear as day, and Labour won a huge majority. I do not believe that they were right to implement their policy but I cannot argue that they did not have the authority to do so. The British public put them in power. They did not foist this on an unwilling public. It would be comforting to think that they did, but it would be an idle comfort.

As I said, I would be surprised if you and I disagree so much on the actual policies involved here. But I think it is just wrong to believe that the British people are merely innocent pawns in the hands of nefarious liberal elites. We get the governments we deserve; we put them there - they did not land from the planet Zog. We can get rid of them if we want. We have repeatedly been given the option of voting for a government that would take us out of Europe, and have without exception turned that opportunity down. How can you then argue that the elites dragged us into greater integration against our will?

I find the centre ground of politics a shabby and depressing place. But it would be just idle of me to argue that this is not where the British electorate lies. I trust elections more than I do opinion polls.

In the early 1980s the left believed that the working classes were being prevented from voting for its true interests by the evil elites. Now it is the right wing that believes much the same. It's hard not to come to the conclusion that both left and right were equally as out of touch with the mood of the nation.

As for the angry right wing just warning against bad things to come - I have no objection to that. But I do have a strong objection to those who are blind to anything but the bad.

It's late. I'll leave it there for now.

Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong on the EU, Thatcher won rebates and was known by some as anti EU, she supported a trading block not political union (although not anti EU enough for my liking). Tony Blair claimed to going to be strong on Europe and win the arguements which sounded tough compared to the weak Tories of the day.
And more recently the EU constitution issue had to be killed at the last election with promises of referendums by all main party's.
Yet now the will of the people is ignored.

If pro-EU party's did well at elections why do the Lib Dems always do worse in the general election than the locals?
And why do all party's in the run up to elections have to posture about how tough on the EU they are going to be?
Because there isn't a large pro-EU sentiment in the country.

Now I know the original comment wasn't about the EU but I am just using that as the most obvious example of the elites being out of wack with public opinion.

Maybe its me who is wrong, but if thats true why are they so afraid of the EU referendum?!

Anonymous said...

"Radical Islamism, for example, will emphasise the solidarity of the umma (worldwide community of the Muslim faithful) against the freedom of the individual. Instead of the Christian virtues of humility, service and sacrifice, there may be honour, piety and the importance of 'saving face'."

Brilliant comment, which of course liberal idiots are singularly ill-equipped to appreciate.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - again, I'm afraid I disagree. Thatcher went into the 1979 election on a platform of rejecting what she saw as Labour's negative attitude to Europe and was committed to, amongst other things, a single foreign policy (!) - it's there in the manifesto. It's true she was tough on the rebate: but toughness does not mean being anti. The French are tough on agriculture, the Germans are tough on the environment, the British are tough on the budget. None of this makes them anti, merely sensible negotiators.

Thatcher did become more anti-EU as time went by, but the speech that signalled this, the famous Bruges speech, took place in late 1988: she never won another election.

As for referendums, my advice would be to be careful what you wish for. You object to the EU and to devolution, and yet these are two policies brought in or sustained by referendums. For my part, I think referendums are one of the many regrettable legacies of Labour (it's no surprise that all referendums have been held under that party) - they are counter to British traditions and are more apt to be the playthings of petty dictators (I wish we were more like the US on this, where national referendums simply do not exist).

On the 'political union' aspect of the EU - this really was no surprise either. It's clearly in the treaty of Rome, and the 1972 act of parliament that brought us in makes it absolutely clear that European law will always trump UK law and that any UK law that goes against Europe is invalid. No step since taken has been as huge, but this provision has been there for 36 years. Hardly a secret clause smuggled in hugger mugger.

None of this is to say I am a fan of Europe. I merely point out that it is wishful thinking to believe that this was all done to us poor helpless victims by Euro-loving elites who hoodwinked us. We as a nation carry the responsibility. It would be comforting to think otherwise, but the facts just don't bear it out.

Why are the parties shying away from a referendum now? I'm not going to defend them - but going on past history referendums have a way of biting those who see them as their saviour.

You're right that the Liberal Democrats generally come third - I should have said that I was referring to the two major parties. But if you add the Lib Dem votes, you end up with a pretty hefty wad of pro-EU party votes.

Anonymous said...

No you don't have a hefty wad of pro-EU votes.
The Lib Dems pretend to be a left-wing alternative to the conservatives in Tory areas, and a center right alternative to labour in their areas.

I was sent a leaflet by the Lib Dems in 1997 saying "Labour don't stand a chance in this area vote Lib Dems to get the Tories out!"

Anyone voting for them for that reason isn't a positive endorsement of any of their policies.

You seem to think that if a party wins an election that means the public 100% accept everything that party had in its manifesto, when in reality it only means the public felt theirs was preferable to the alternatives and there may be a whole lot in it that is not popular.

Its very possible for party's who win landslides to abuse their position and push through things that were never a central or well known part of their campaign.

I am not in favour of referendums normally either, but this is a special case, we aren't talking about making a change that can easily be reversed by the next government, its about the whole structure of the way we are governed and only the people should be able to make that desision.
I realise it could possibly go against what i would prefer, and I expect in the end it will because the government is bringing in large numbers of Eastern Europeans to influence the whole situation.
But that doesn't change that its wrong in principle for an elected government to wreck the democratic process by giving away its powers therefore stopping the people from directly electing a new government with the power to change what they have done!

Anonymous said...

I remember that someone once told me that the BNP was an invention of MI5 intended to prevent nationalists linking to Christian movements to form a Christian Nationalist movement that would aim at driving non-Christians out of Britain. You see, in NI the linking of religion to nationalist groups in Belfast gave those groups a real potency, with religion providing the moral underpinnings for any action taken against the other side. You can imagine that if the same happened here, the Christians and Islamists would quickly find themselves at war. By encouraging the BNP, MI5 sought to prevent this happening, leaving the nationalism unlinked to Christianity. Thus the BNP and the NF were always associated with the levels of melatonin in ones skin (which more sensible people were never likely to condemn) whilst the crusade against the new saracens never happened.