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Saturday, 17 August 2013

We Cannot Protect British Culture without Christianity

Lincoln Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln


If we want to protect and preserve British traditional culture and values, we cannot do it without Christianity. Not only has Christianity been part of them since time immemorial but also they couldn't continue their existence without it.

An anecdote. I was in Steyning, in Sussex, in the Downs, not far from the sea. Our car had broken down. It's a beautiful village (or perhaps a small town now) in the South-East of England, the constituency that my party Liberty GB has chosen for the 2014 Euro Elections. Without enrichers in sight - except for one very kind black bloke who offered to help -, it looked like England may have been pre-enrichment. Very well preserved, with lovely Tudor houses, quaint, there was a building covered in Union Jacks and portraits of the Queen, you've got the idea. Every time we asked the locals for directions to the centre of the village, they directed us to the church.

The question about atheism and religion is simple. Individuals can be atheist, societies cannot. Atheists can be upright, moral individuals. But most people who follow the idea of a Godless world end up behaving in unethical ways, like irresponsibly having children out of wedlock they cannot provide for; treating their sexual life as a drug or alcohol (which they may also be addicted to); repeatedly having late-term abortions which more and more resemble infanticides; becoming addicted to consumerism and material things - kindly called "shopaholics" - to fill their empty lives and ending up with debts they cannot repay; neglecting their elderly parents; putting other people's and their own health at risk with promiscuous heterosexual or homosexual sex; and committing crimes. These people may not necessarily call themselves "atheist", but they have abandoned a moral system which for them would in the past have been dependent on the idea of God.

Think of this. If prisons, punishments and the penal system were abolished tomorrow, there are people who would continue to act more or less in the same way as before. But do you really believe that all members of society would?

There are many who, either because of limited intelligence or other factors - emotional, for example - don't live an ethical life without something guiding them from the outside (a condition that the Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant called "heteronomy").

You may ask: what about those atheists who are behaving morally?

There is a risk in that too. A risk of erosion. The majority of atheists or agnostics among us have parents who believed in God, or grandparents, and so on. We have been educated in a Christian or Jewish way which has influenced our outlook, even if this can go back a few generations. But over time those values will become more and more diluted in people and therefore in the education they impart to their children. Gradually, maybe slowly, they will weaken or even disappear.

British culture has its roots in Christianity. It is its breeding ground.

Christianity has a solid rational basis. It has been studied and systematised by philosophers, first in the Middle Ages with the Patristic and Scholastic movements. It has incorporated Aristotelian logic. People like Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens who tell you otherwise are zoologists or journalists, not philosophers of religion, not even philosophers of science. They have no in-depth knowledge or understanding of this subject. If we lose Christianity, we end up believing in all sorts of superstitions, as it's already happening with the increase in the number of people who believe in astrology, spiritualism, all sorts of cults, New Age doctrines, "alternative" medicine, and so on.

And also, let's not forget that reason has its limits. It is rational to understand that reason is not everything.

No society has ever been without religion. If we lose Christianity, we will fall prey to other, much worse, religions or pseudo-religions, like, um, let me think, Islam for instance.

8 comments:

  1. So true, Enza, and so clearly and beautifully expressed. But there is no blind such as the one who won't see. I reached the same conclusions some years ago, but I don't know how people will give up their destructive hedonism to embrace faith.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  2. England was a catholic country for 1500 years-only anti-Catholic for 500 years

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  3. Of a common Christianity there has never been and never can be a definition, for it has never existed. There is no essential doctrine such that if we can agree upon it we can differ about the rest: as for instance, to accept immortality but deny the Trinity. A man will call himself a Christian though he denies the unity of the Christian Church; he will call himself a Christian though he denies the presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament; he will cheerfully call himself a Christian though he denies the Incarnation. No; the quarrel is between the Church and the anti-Church. The Holy Catholic Church of God and The anti-God, The Church of Christ and The anti-Christ, there never has been and never can be or will be a general Christian religion professed by men who all accept some central important doctrines, while agreeing to differ about others. There has always been, from the beginning, and will always be, the Church, and sundry heresies either doomed to decay, or, like Mohammedanism, to grow into a separate religion.

    Of a common Christianity there has never been and never can be a definition, for it has never existed.

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    1. Common Christianity existed before Year of our Lord 1054, when the catholic church broke from this "Common Christianity". Strictly speaking, the catholic church broke from it before this date, but it was formalized only in 1054. Then there emerged the Orthodox church, which remained true to the Faith of Apostles and a new one, Catholic church, which began creating new dogmas.

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  4. Good post.

    I agree with you for the most part, but (sadly,) I think you're writing of closing the stable door after the horse has already bolted when you write "If we lose Christianity". We've already lost it.

    But I think our current irreligious age is only an interregnum. The void will be filled by some religion, or as you say pseudo-religion (perhaps Islam,) because our current hedonistic philosophy can't satisfy the human soul.

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  5. I would also add Hillaire Belloc's observation that Europe is only Europe insofar as it is Christian. The product of it being otherwise is not Europe but the EU, which has all but dispatched Christianity to the fringes in favor of secular, overtly political, and culturally obtuse considerations none of which are commonly shared.

    Anonymous III has it wrong. There was a general Christian religion; what there was not was a particular Christian religion. But the general acceptance had made Europe, in the course of over a thousand years, the most advanced, liberal, tolerant, humane, industrious, inquisitive, inventive civilization ever. It should not be lost on anyone that the periodic failures of that Christian Europe, with a few exceptions, were the result of overtly political considerations, i.e., political primacy. And it hardly requires pointing out that the worst failures and greatest destruction, to which the Twentieth Century devoted itself, were perpetrated by those with political, secular, cultural, racial, and social theories. Going by the present situation in the EU, it can be assumed also that economic theories do not mitigate but aggravate.

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  6. Encourage your congregation to welcome people they may not know during the "meet and greet" time, if you have one, but not to pry.become ordained online Many people who try a new church or are away from home prefer their privacy. They likely will not appreciate people asking them a lot of questions, no matter how well-meaning they may be.

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