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great britainI used to think that my country was dying but now I am not so sure. For a country to be dying there needs to be some sign of life!

If by a country’s “life” we mean a living culture, a culture of life, which embraces the dignity of the human person and the love of Creation, and is alive with the spirit of civilization, I think we can safely pronounce Great Britain to be well and truly defunct. It is not dying but dead. There is no sign of life.

A few facts from last week’s papers should suffice to show Britain’s demise. It does not make for pretty or pleasurable reading.

An official report, published on February 4, exposed a local government cover-up of the systematic sexual abuse of 1,400 girls by Pakistani gangs in Rotherham, a town in Yorkshire, over a period of at least fifteen years. Local government officials refused to act on reports of widespread sexual abuse of young white girls by the Pakistani gangs for fear that it would lead to charges of racism. The police also refused to act for fear that their intervention could be seen as racist and that it might harm “community relations.” The tragic irony is that the only racism involved was that of the Pakistani gangs who made a point of targeting young white girls.

Also in the British newspapers this week is the trial of Lutfur Rahman, Britain’s first Muslim mayor, who is accused of “subverting democracy,” running a “den of iniquity” and “systematically stealing votes” as he turned the London borough of Tower Hamlets into his own private fiefdom. The High Court was told of widespread intimidation of rival candidates and voters, including the children of rival candidates receiving death threats on their cell phones. Muslim voters were told that it was “a sin” and “un-Islamic” not to vote for Mr. Rahman, who is accused of channeling hundreds of thousands of pounds to his cronies. Those courageous enough to question Mr. Rahman’s actions were branded as “racist” or “Islamophobes.” Faced with the threat of such heinous thought-crime, neither the police nor any public authority dared to challenge Mr. Rahman’s corrupt practices. It took private action by individuals to bring Mr. Rahman to court. As with the young girls of Rotherham, the people of Tower Hamlets have been sacrificed by both politicians and the police on the altar of “political correctness.”

This is all pretty horrible, to be sure, but is it any worse than the hedonistic hell-hole into which the non-Muslim population of Britain has sunk? In today’s Britain, conventional morality is treated with cynical contempt and the traditional family has all but disappeared. Drunkenness, drugs and serial fornication are the norm, and words like holiness and chastity have been banished from polite conversation. Worse, this vice-ridden and meretricious culture is held up as representing the “freedom” that Britons should defend from the threat of Islam.

Allison Pearson, in an article in the Daily Telegraph on February 5, is justifiably angered by the sex abuse cover-up in Rotherham and the political corruption in Tower Hamlets, but her analysis displays the confusion at the heart of the British response to Islam. Ms. Pearson begins her article by comparing the burning of a heretic in 1531 in Tudor England “for wanting to read the Bible in English” with the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot by the terrorists of the Islamic State. “The two executions are separated by 484 years,” Ms. Pearson writes, “and the slow, patient development of what we call civilisation. We don’t burn people at the stake in Britain any more. Nor is heresy a sin….”

Having framed her article in these terms, implying with cock-sure chronological snobbery that “civilization” is progressing from a barbaric past to an enlightened future, she concludes her article with a reiteration of the same general point:

It has taken us many centuries to leave such savagery behind. Civilisation, however, cannot be taken for granted. It can be threatened by corruption, religious extremism; by cruelty to women and children and animals, and by good men averting their eyes from inconvenient truths. The barbarities of Islamic State are easy to identify; those closer to home less so. But identify them, and fight them, we must. Let us pray that Rotherham marks the start of that fight.

The problem with Ms. Pearson’s analysis is that it begs far more questions than it answers. It is, for instance, true that heresy is no longer a sin in Britain. Heresy has not been a sin in Britain for almost five hundred years, ever since the days of Tudor “savagery” that she rightly condemns. What has been a sin ever since the time of Henry VIII is not heresy but orthodoxy. She does not mention, and probably does not know, that Catholic priests were hanged, drawn, and quartered in Britain for a period of 150 years. Without going into the gory details, it could certainly be argued that this form of execution carried out by the secular state against its Catholic victims was as slow and tortuous as being burned alive. And while it is true that we do not burn people alive in Britain any more, we do threaten to imprison them for the public expression of traditional views on marriage and sexuality. It is no doubt a mark of our “civilized” times that it is now considered a hate crime to suggest in public that there is nothing gay about being “gay.” And, of course, there is the question of the millions of unborn babies being slaughtered in the womb, an abominably barbaric practice that would never have been condoned by our “savage” ancestors.

Although it is true, as Ms. Pearson states, that we do not burn people for wanting to read the Bible in English, it is also true that we make it illegal to read the Bible in public, banning Christianity from the public square as an unwanted remnant from our “savage” past. Is this what Ms. Pearson means by “the slow, patient development of what we call civilization?” Need we remind Ms. Pearson of Chesterton’s quip that when people stop believing in God they do not believe in nothing but in anything? Need we remind her that the replacement of God with godlessness has led to the Guillotine, the Gas Chamber, and the Gulag Archipelago? Do we need to remind her that the last century, the most godless in human history, was also the bloodiest and most barbaric? What, one wonders, would Ms. Pearson call the horrors of trench warfare or the development of poison gas? What about Blitzkrieg, the Holocaust, or Hiroshima? Perhaps these deplorably modern things, unknown to our ancestors, are examples of “the slow, patient development of what we call civilization.”

Putting all of these questions to one side, the biggest question that is begged by Ms. Pearson’s analysis is the question of civilization itself. What exactly does she consider civilization to be? Is it simply the “slow, patient development” of science and the clever things it makes possible? Is civilization simply about being clever? The atomic bomb was damnably clever. Is there a difference between cleverness and wisdom? Is there a connection between civilization and wisdom? If so, might we not reasonably suggest that Christ is more civilized than Ms. Pearson? Might we not suggest that Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are more civilized than Ms. Pearson? Might we not believe that Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare are more civilized than Ms. Pearson?

As much as it pains me to say it, and for reasons implied by the foregoing questions, I see nothing worse about Islam than I do about modern Britain. It is a choice between false gods and godlessness. It is akin to choosing between the arrogant stupidity of the Montagues and the arrogant stupidity of the Capulets. Asked to make such a choice, we should echo the words of Mercutio and call down a plague on both their houses.

Pace Ms. Pearson, we have not left savagery behind. It is all around us and it is on the rise. And whilst it is indubitably true, as she says, that we cannot take civilization for granted, it is necessary to know, first of all, what it is. It is also true, as she says, that civilization can be threatened by corruption, cruelty, “and by good men averting their eyes from inconvenient truths.” One such inconvenient truth is that civilization is inseparable from the Christianity that is its defining characteristic. “The barbarities of Islamic State are easy to identify,” writes Ms. Pearson, “those closer to home less so. But identify them, and fight them, we must. Let us pray that Rotherham marks the start of that fight.” Amen, Ms. Pearson, amen! The barbarities are closer to home than we realize. Something springs to mind about the mote in our neighbour’s eye and the plank in our own. We can indeed hope that Muslim racism in Rotherham and Islamic corruption in London can be fought, but might we not also hope that the British will try to get their own house in order. It is, after all, in a terrible mess.

The most important phrase in Ms. Pearson’s analysis are the three words with which she begins her final sentence: Let us pray. Is she civilized enough to have actually meant what she wrote? Or were the words employed thoughtlessly, without meaning? If the former, there is hope for Ms. Pearson and perhaps, by extension, for the Britain she represents.

Britain might be dead but perhaps there is a hope for her resurrection. Is there life after death for my native land? Perhaps. Let us do what Ms. Pearson suggests. Let us pray!

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35 replies to this post
  1. What you say is true [except that I didn’t know that Protestants tortured Catholic Priests.]
    And the same is going on in the United States – I have observed the progression downward throughout all of my 70 year long life.
    We, like Britain, have a worthless clergy.
    And The People will follow anyone who says what they want to hear.
    I spend my nights lying awake fussing at God for not turning on the lights in more peoples’ minds.
    I spend all my time fighting this – and while a few can see – most can’t, and they are relentlessly stupid and nasty.

    If God decides to judge the Countries in the Western World, then we must accept it.

    But WHY couldn’t he turn lights on in more Peoples’ minds instead?

    • Because it is not his job to do so. We were endowed with magnificent brains and the capacity to reason, and from this, with moral law as a guidance, individual mankind is to become enlightened.

      Your question also implies an acceptable passivity on the part of the individual human. It allows him/her to say, “Hey, well, God did not turn the lights on in my case, so I cannot help it if I am an ignorant thug”. This is supremely dangerous.

      I often feel that Catholics rely on (if that is the expression) religion to the point of becoming lazy in their own reasoning and introspection, or educational aspiration. It is almost as if Reason is held in contempt.

      If people are kept from thinking, then–guess what, they will not think. Neither about what they do, nor about why they do what they do.

      This is one aspect of the problem.

      • Catholics being lazy in reason and introspection? I live near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula. It is one of the top liberal arts schools in the U.S. They don’t read textbooks at the college. They read the original writings of Freud, Descartes, Newton, etc. And they critically evaluate them in a debate format. They could put 99% of the population to shame in their reasoning skills. These undergraduates could debate you into the dirt. And these are some of the most Orthodox Catholics you would ever encounter. Not to mention that I, as a multiple graduate degreed doctor of psychology, personally find this assertion absurd. I’ve taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at secular universities and they can barely write a paper – their grammar, spelling, and ability to even formulate ideas are atrocious. They didn’t even know who Stalin and the Soviet Union were…. There is a reason that Catholic schools blow public schools away and it isn’t because we dislike reason. Aquinas, Augustine, Jerome, John Paul II, etc. intellectually lazy?!?

    • Catholic priest were tortured and killed especially under Elizabeth I.

      Catholicism was illegal (for all prac. purposes) in England until the Roman Catholic relief acts of 1791 and 1829

  2. From the essay ….. ‘“The barbarities of Islamic State are easy to identify,” writes Ms. Pearson, “those closer to home less so. But identify them, and fight them, we must.’

    Herein, I believe, lies the rub. Ms. Pearson is thinking of the wrong set of “closer to home” barbarities. I suspect her list would include most of the politically correct thought crimes approved by the transgressive, upside-down thinking of the modern leftist. However, this political lock-step thinking is the true source of what has destroyed Britain. We just don’t want to say that, or we entirely fail to see it. Peter Hitchens “Abolition of Britain”, written over 10 years ago, elucidates what happened to Britain, in a very short span, with some insight.

    I say, let’s start unapologetically using language that we Christians have used for millennia. I propose that we start freely using “gay” to mean what is has always meant. We need to re-inject the vocabulary and hence re-inject the culture with ideas that value moral clarity, goodness, truth, and beauty. Words such as virtue, chastity, moral courage, fortitude, temperance, prudence, etc. The devil always starts by slowly, imperceptibly, changing the meaning of words. As words leave the common parlance, so do the ideas behind them. This is where much of the battle must be fought. We allow the enemy to usurp our common language to our demise. The common set of virtues and the moral conscience of an entire nation can change very quickly.

  3. Fine post Mr. Pearce. I’m certain you understand that it is not merely Great Britain, but Western Civilization that lies on its death-bed, the entire planet even. But the blame falls rather on us as individuals when we reject the moral law and the Source of that law for then we are left to our own dual nature; and the lesser half of ourselves will gain the advantage.

    Despite what progressives such as Ms. Pearson like to think with their as you say chronological snobbery, mankind irrevocably retains this dual nature and left to ourselves morally we progress to nowhere, except in those minds most egregiously deluded, those who exalt themselves. …ye shall be as gods….

    • Western Civilization is in a crisis, but not on its “death bed”. Some of us have not and will not put up the white flag.

  4. These were my exact sentiments when the Charlie Hebdo attack happened. Everybody – especially conservatives – defended Charlie Hebdo and condemned the attack. They were correct with the latter, but dead wrong with the former. See, Charlie Hebdo publishes pornographic filth. Our rights come from G-d; therefore, we possess no right to pornography, because it egregiously violates all traditional religions of Western Civilization. The new paradigms position us either with the atheist filth of Charlie Hebdo or the murderous guerrillas of unholy Jihad… I totally concur with you, especially with your condemnation of abortion. I always say that we should actually call Progression Regression instead. In America, we went from “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” to a Civil War that pitted these “self-evident truths” against the racist and “Progressive” theories of liberal Democrats in the south who saw Negroes as not equal to the white man, with regards to Natural Rights. Still, Progressive Democrats even today murder the most innocent people of our society via abortion in the name of progress, “Rights of Man” and so-called civilization. I cannot understand how any Westerner can possess that pitch of presumption to consider his culture of moral vanity and absolute depravity superior to any Muslim nation where they at least strictly prohibit abortion on demand. Indeed, no one even sheds a tear for the downtrodden, oppressed and unjustly slain baby in the womb. Homosexuality and HIV/AIDS; hyper-individualism and pornography; radical feminism and no-fault divorce; homosexuality and lesbianism and the utter destruction of the traditional family- the poor man’s best hope for survival in this barbaric world of intemperate savages: This is the slothful and sinful culture that we shed tears for against radical Islam.

    “There ought to be a system of manners in every nation, which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish. To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.” – Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France.

    How can I love my country if the government itself not only sanctions but also finances the genocide of unborn babies via abortion? How can I love my country if an oligarch of judges subverts self-government via judicial activism every time the people pass a wise law to shackle their passions for sin? How can I love my country if my country tries to obliterate any mention of G-d or religion in public or private any way shape or form?

    Indeed, let us be brutally honest, we do not love our present country. No!, we love our romantic history, traditions, customs, laws, and religions, which the radical Jacobins all subverted long ago. I love the country that General George Washington fought for. I love the country that President Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant and General William T. Sherman fought for. However, I cannot say that I love the country that elected Obama – who is the most pro-abortion president to date – to rule them as a pretended king of yore. I cannot say that I love the country that pretends that homosexual sodomy, privacy and abortion are real constitutional rights, let alone even real G-d given, Natural Rights, to be enforced against the traditional rights of America and the overwhelming majority of Americans in their several states.

    In sum, we must first reconquer ourselves before we can even think about defeating radical Islam. If G-d chooses the lessor of two evils, then it is reasonable to suggest that He might be on our side. However, if G-d chooses absolute allies, then we are all dead in this unholy war of sinners!

    • Michael, I agree wholeheartedly with almost everything you wrote so well and passionately.
      I’ll only disagree with the statement: “I cannot understand how any Westerner can possess that pitch of presumption to consider his culture of moral vanity and absolute depravity superior to any Muslim nation where they at least strictly prohibit abortion on demand”.
      The natural end of Islam is violence. the natural end of Christianity is self-sacrificial love. The devout Muslim, who truly follows his holy book will be a very different person than a devout Christian. And do not be fooled by the rampant pornography and violence against women that is inherent in the Islamic faith. We must embrace the right path (truth) if we are to even have a chance of digging out of the sick moral blindness that we are in as a country.

  5. I really don’t know why you are singling out Muslims here regarding the coverup of crimes. Coverups of sex crimes seems to be an emerging British tradition starting with covering up sex crimes committed by government officials back in the 1980s.

    Also, I don’t know why no other factors besides religion are being considered regarding the crimes mentioned. My personal experience with Muslims has been far different in a positive way than what has been cited here. The Muslims I know have been very honorable people.

    Thus, we might want to inquire whether there is some unmerited penchant for assigning negative characteristics to certain designated groups based on the actions of a few. And those who want to claim that Christianity has a monopoly on civilization, remember what was regarded as civilization by Christians in the past. It was empires where all of the brutality was offshored. Well, guess what. Perhaps the chickens have come home to roost.

    • “Well, guess what. Perhaps the chickens have come home to roost.”

      Ah. And when will the left wing/Marxist mass murdering “Chickens come home to roost”?

      • Eric,
        you are simply venting here and it is easy to tell because your note really doesn’t respond to my comment. It is as if you are randomly attacking a group.

  6. Karen, I have seen someone come back to a vigorous life who had hours to live according to the doctors. This was by cancer and the comeback the doctors could not explain. Perhaps the prayers from coast-to-coast, literally, had something to do with it.

    Acknowledging that a patient is gravely ill hardly implies also giving up. But if the West continues to lie in its death bed, that is to reject the Source of life…dying, it shall surely die.

  7. Curt Day, in one breath you say:
    “…we might want to inquire whether there is some unmerited penchant for assigning negative characteristics to certain designated groups based on the actions of a few.”

    Then in the next breath you say:
    “…remember what was regarded as civilization by Christians in the past. It was empires where all of the brutality was offshored.”

    You then also commit the same fallacy of which you accuse Mr. Pearce of committing. So “Christians in the past” become your monolithic designated group and are all condemned as having thought that an empire that off-shored brutality is a very good civilization. Setting aside your “history,” did you ever stop to think that many Christians all through the ages have been grieved by both the times and the place they lived in? And perhaps even prayed for the Lord’s return instead? It would appear that Muslims cannot be treated as monolithic but “Christians in the past” can be from your perspective.

    Besides, Mr. Pearce is not using special pleading here since his main thesis is to criticize non-Muslims; or perhaps you didn’t read the rest of the essay beginning with the sentence that begins the author’s thesis, ” This is all pretty horrible, to be sure, but is it any worse than the hedonistic hell-hole into which the non-Muslim population of Britain has sunk?”

    • Kevin,
      I have never thought of Christians of being monolithic here though I should have used a quantifier to clarify that. So your assessment is understandable. All I wanted to do in my comments is to point Pearce’s selective use of data in forming his argument. This is especially true concerning Muslims and atheists.

      Personally, I am a Christian fundamentalists. But my reading and personal experiences with Muslims and atheists cause me to object to Pearce’s disputable conclusion:

      As much as it pains me to say it, and for reasons implied by the foregoing questions, I see nothing worse about Islam than I do about modern Britain. It is a choice between false gods and godlessness. It is akin to choosing between the arrogant stupidity of the Montagues and the arrogant stupidity of the Capulets.

      I’ve seen both Muslims and atheists be pioneers in civilizing society where tribalistic Christians fear to tread. And they are afraid to walk with these Muslims and atheists because what these Christians are tribal about–that is religious group, country, political ideology, and then Western Civilization–have been syncretically joined with their faith. By that syncretically joined I mean they have pounded a square peg into a round hole so hard that they’ve done violence to both.

      Martin Luther King Jr. said:

      The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just

      Now replace the word ‘Western’ with a fill in the blank. Could we, according to Pearce, put the word ‘Christian’ in this sentence in relation to Muslims and atheists?

      Finally, when was Great Britain ever civilized according to Pearce’s standards?

  8. Thank you for this article, sad as the topic may be. *is. We do need to pray. And God is graciously waiting for us to ask Him for His kingdom to come.

  9. This is excellent. Western tradition is under attack from two directions, an Islamic and a secular, both militant and both looking to extinguish our culture. I don’t know which is worse, but they are both detrimental and eventually catastrophic. I take no solace that in America we might be a few years behind Europe. Any country that can elect Obama twice is in the process of death.

  10. Curt Day, Mr. Pearce was merely saying that he prays Britons, whether Christians, atheists, or I’d expect he would also think, Muslims, get right with God. And getting right with God to a Christian, which Mr. Pearce is, will mean through Christ. If you think that by their “civilizing” works Muslims are better than some Christians or will be saved thereby then that’s a different theological discussion.

    Concerning the clarification, I expected that you would add a qualifying word to your statement, that being “tribal.” You have then made a pigeonhole called “tribal Christians” which would apparently be those that commingle their faith with country and political ideology, some perhaps believing Jesus is a “conservative.” I expect that you would say of them that their tradition is now fed them from Limbaugh and Hannity, and that their beliefs on politics and economics don’t mesh well with their professed Christian religion.

    But you also have a political ideology that you subscribe to and might yourself call Christian socialist which is egalitarian in nature. This political ideological tribe also commingles faith with political ideology possibly to the extent that you believe Jesus is a liberal or a socialist, or at least that your perspective is more in line with New Testament teaching than that of “tribal Christians.” It has a set of what it considers appropriate political and economic values, opinions, and attitudes and those that are inappropriate. You think it a superior perspective to that of “tribal Christians” and also that its views should prevail as the policy of the American government as only then would we have a fair and just society. I would add that you have an ideological tradition as well that extends back to Mably and St. Just. The only difference I see then is that you might not confuse God and country in some “patriotic” sense, but you still mix your Christian faith with political ideology. The problem for that ideological view is that it does not mesh any better with Christianity. Historically Christians think of themselves as being not of this world, but “a people apart” consecrated to God, and the Church as the communal life that takes the place of the state and which has the pedagogical task of forming the conscience. Where the state is concerned, they follow the teaching of St. Peter and St. Paul in submitting to the power of governors as ordained of God, but teach salvation, not revolution and the changing of the political and economic order. Where justice is concerned, Christians believe in God’s justice, which means one had better get one’s life right with Him. And certainly St. Peter and St. Paul believed in correct doctrine and not that all theological doctrine had equal value. They “privileged” the revelation they had received over heresy.

    Concerning the MLK quote, he was simply wrong either because he had not studied much history, or his ideology blinded his better judgment in making such a statement. If Western civilization is anything it is a derivative culture having taken and learned from others including the Judaic, Athenian, Roman, and yes Arabic culture, principally in sciences from the latter.

    On your question of replacing “Western” with Christian in the given sentence, we could just as well put “Islamic” in the sentence. Historically, Islam commingled faith with the “state” and was imperialistic such that it extended so far that one of their own, Ibn Kaldun, could say of the Tyrrhenian Sea that Christians “can no longer float a plank on it” the implication being let alone ships of trade.

    On your last question, I think that the island of Britain was far more civilized after the Christian faith came there than it was before, and with Christianity’s “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” as Matthew Arnold put it, it can only continue to recede into its previous heathen and barbaric state.

    • Kevin,
      Regarding MLK’s statement, he was correct. He made it during his speech that opposed the Vietnam War. And in essence, this is how America was acting. It’s policies dictated, self-survingly so, that America had the right to intervene in the internal affairs of any nation. Please remember that our involvement in Vietnam started with helping the French try to reestablish their colony there even though we knew that the French exploited Vietnam. Then after that failed, our own intervention turned invasion obliterated the Geneva Accords that called for the South Vietnamese to vote on reunification. Now whether King was right about America is a minor point. Any arrogance of feeling where one group feels that they have everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is unjust.

      Btw, I don’t think you fully realize what I mean by tribal, so I will explain here. Tribalism, as defined in my blog, is when group loyalty trumps commitment to principles and morals. The result of tribalism is that what is right and wrong is determined by who does what to whom. So when talking about Christians being tribal, we are talking about them being less and less able to criticize their own groups because of group loyalty. And considering that we can hold to as many different levels of tribalism as the number of groups we belong to, Christians being tribal can mean that they experience a number of different competing loyalties than what the Gospel calls us to. And btw, I also apply that tribal label to any Leftist whose loyalty to their leftist ideology trumps their commitment to principles and morals. Just because I am a Leftist, and there are a great variety of kinds of Leftists, doesn’t mean that I am criticizing Pearce here for not being a socialist.

      BTW, Paul and Peter did not have political concerns back then. But that is most likely due to the different contexts provided by different periods of history.

      Finally, we come to different interpretations of what Pearce is saying. He attributes Britain’s problems to nonChristian influences. And he is very selective in the evidence he uses to build his case. Should we go to Christianity’s historical blunders to see how we can mess things up as well? And, as I said, I know read and seen both Muslims and Atheists act as pioneers in civilizing society. Sometimes tribalism blinds us to our own sins as well as to the contributions of others. And that is especially true when one’s brutality is mostly exercised in the far away lands which empire affords.

  11. The rot has many causes and , as rot goes, has been spreading for some time. A listing of the symptoms is hardly required here but a country that has lost its memory, that is tradition and history, is as a child, and one untutored and ill disciplined. It’s not coming back. Cling to your own principles and learning, hold on to them.

  12. Satan has spewed his lies nonstop for all of history. Fortunately, for the west, we had our faith in Christ to combat these lies. Without Christ we are defenseless. We have thrown out our Lord and we now reap the natural consequences.

  13. Yes a plague on both your houses said Mercurio. Islam and secular western liberalism are indeed strange bedfellows cut from the same nominalist cloth. Though Islam is more dramatic in its impact to the pursuit of goodness and truth in Christ in freedom the ability to survive greatly more impeded by absolute objective law. Western liberal secularism takes that same absolute law into the absolute will of individual freedom which overrides any absolute moral law…mutual consent and the apparent lessening of suffering being the only agreed general guides to what one may do.

    So though the impact of the godless west is dramatic it is highly fragmented and on its own terms Christians can demand a voice at the bazaar of proposed freedoms to do this or that. Islam on the other hand is effective having its objective law overriding any individual plea for tolerance. In the end the inconvenient truth of Christ in an Islamic world is immediate death for evangelisation in secular strident west it is restrictions, black listing, fines, prison even now what young person can take up a career in nursing or general medical practitioner and even survive the training without collaboration in mortally sinful matters?

  14. Curt Day, we will have to agree to disagree on MLKs statement then. As you quoted it, it condemned the West in total as a civilization that is arrogant and will not learn from others, when in fact it is a derivative civilization that has learned from many. Where imperialism is concerned you mention Vietnam, I’ll add Iraq, and say that a conservative does not look for this country to invade another and impose its political views. That is only one stream in Western culture and it comes from the liberal tradition and really came to the fore in this country with Woodrow Wilson and his saving the world for democracy. The conservative understands such a statement to be a “confusion of the things of God and the things of Caesar” as Irving Babbitt put it long ago. A conservative will think that we have traditions, customs, and institutions that work for us having grown organically, but these may not work so well for other cultures.

    On your term “tribal,” I well understand what you mean. That someone will hold loyalty to a group one has belonged to is a given, whether a sport team or a political association of some kind. It is also a given that a person may not be able to critique that group-think, the old-boys network. Or if they did one might say “perish the thought what would my friends think?” The point I was trying to make is you are not better but do the same. You have a Weltanschauung that would be difficult for you to critique to the point that you might convert, excepting a road to Damascus moment. I won’t bother arguing why socialism is not morally better than capitalism or more in line with the Gospel as you have your ideology and it is always difficult to give up. Conversions between capitalism and socialism occur either way, and usually the one that converts is as dogmatic for the new Weltanschauung as for the old. Many have converted to the so-called Right and they are just as dogmatic once converted as they were on the so-called Left. I have in mind here Frank Meyer, whose works appear to me to protest too much. From my perspective, in the end, whatever the system, whether capitalistic or socialistic, our nature will corrupt it which is why both a free trade environment (in the old laissez-faire sense), or a sharing (socialist, communist) environment are both utopian.

    On St. Paul, the Roman Empire had many and great problems most of which are the same as we have today, and that is just human nature at work. St. Paul was very devout before his conversion and did not concern himself with the politics of the day after it because he had his eyes on the prize and looked to turn others to it as well. That is the work of a Christian missionary, not social-political change, something external, but repentance toward God, something internal and personal.

    On the essay by Mr. Pearce, his evidence for Britain’s problems is not against foreign influences. The problems in the Islamic community that the other writer, Ms. Pearson, brings up are to Mr. Pearce the mote in the neighbor’s eye. Mr. Pearce looks at the plank in the non-Muslim’s eye, all Britons, and brings condemnation upon his own Western culture and the growth of its own false gods, for example political correctness, abortion, and science, the latter of which brought forth the gas chamber, poison gas for warfare, and the atomic bomb for incinerating humans in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All of these things are Western products, bringing enough destruction upon ourselves that we have no need of the help of others. He then exhorts all to pray, and Amen to that.

    I usually don’t engage others in the comments section out of respect to the author, preferring to merely engage the author if they will respond. I think that I’ve gotten entirely too far away from that rule here so I’m done with this essay and its comments section.

  15. Kevin,
    I hope this is not a repeat but the computer seems to have switched pages on me and I don’t know if what I wrote was posted. So I will write again.

    As for King’s assessment of the West, yes, we will disagree. But that disagreement is not as important as how we react to any such group that assumes it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them. That should be true for all groups regardless of how they are organized and divided. It applies to America, Russia, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, conservatives, liberals, leftists, and any other group.

    Your attributing imperialism to Wilson and his liberalism implies usage of the saltwater test for imperialism. In reality, our nation has always acted imperially. Remember how Washington describe our nation at its beginning. He called it an ‘infant empire.’ Thus, our westward expansion was no less imperial than Wilson’s saving the world for democracy or Hitler’s invasion of Europe. And we should note two other things. That imperialism is multilateral in that it has been embraced by some conservatives, some liberals, and some leftists. We should also note, returning to Wilson and WW I, how socialists opposed that war to the point of imprisonment. In addition, the principles on which Wilson said he acted are pretty much the same principles promoted by the conservative group, Project For A New American Century. But despite Wilson’s announced principles, we should note that, all too often, any President’s words are more for propaganda than enlightenment.

    And if you wish to debate the morality of socialism vs capitalism, we first need to identify which form of each economic-political structure we want to compare. For neither one is a monolith. For example, after WW II, we saw the Bretton-Woods form of capitalism emerge. But that was incrementally replaced by neoliberal Capitalism starting in the mid ’70s. The Bretton-Woods System and Neoliberalism are two distinct forms of Capitalism. On the left’s side, you have the old Soviet Union-Red China form of Socialism vs other forms such as libertarian socialism. We should note regarding the former Soviet Union that its founder, Vladimir Lenin, hijacked the Revolution and admittedly turned it from the left to the right. His turning of the Revolution to the Right was also noted by his comrade and contemporary, Rosa Luxemburg.

    Also, what Pearce is complaining about are nonChristian influences–I’ve noted that from the beginning. And such goes back to King’s quote only we replace the word ‘Western’ with a fill in the blank. And I added that my exposure to nonChristian influences of Muslims and atheists cause me to object to Pearce’s dubious conclusions.

    Finally, the Christian calling is both personal and individual as well as corporate. That is because we are all also involved, in varying degrees, with corporate or group, or societal sin. That Paul did not mention that kind of sin is most likely for contextual reasons. Thus discussing economic-political involvement is just as important as discussing personal piety issues.

  16. “The point I was trying to make is you are not better but do the same. You have a Weltanschauung that would be difficult for you to critique ”

    A perfect bullseye! Mr. Day simply cannot accept responsibility for the mountains of corpses and oceans of blood erected and spilled in the name of his ideology, including the millions killed by the Communist invaders/conquerers of the peaceful nation of South Vietnam.

    • Eric,
      If I don’t take responsibility for the crimes of people like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, maybe it is because I don’t share their ideology. And that shouldn’t be too difficult to understand unless one insists that that leftists like me are a monolithic group. And that is the fault in your charge and argument. That is besides the fact that you are no longer discussing the issue, you are discussing me with the intention of discrediting what I write rather than engaging with it.

      • Well, Curt, as they say in the alcohol treatment field, the first step is to admit you have a problem. And, when it comes to left wing ideology, you simply cannot do that. The fact that you, personally, were not torturing American POW’s in Hanoi or slaughtering South Vietnanese peasants does not excuse the fact that you clearly supported the agenda of the Communists who ran North Vietnam.

  17. ” I won’t bother arguing why socialism is not morally better than capitalism”

    But that’s not the issue. The battle is really between socialism and freedom. Socialism is the morality of insects. Obedient insects who do whatever the Insect State tells them to. Indeed, the fight is really between freedom and collectivism.

  18. “Besides the fact that the first tenet of socialism is to redistribute power from the bourgeoisie elite to the working class”

    More like the first rule of socialists (or Marxists, Communists, etc.) is to transfer power to THEMSELVES. George Orwell, a one-time socialist himself (giving him plenty of opportunity to understand the left wing mindset) described the goal of left wing morality in his novel “1984” as “A boot smashing a human face … forever”

    Once you realize that left wing ideology is all about POWER, then everything else makes far more sense. Their hatred of God and religion, and hatred of traditional values and human freedom, is all part of one sordid whole. These slime lust for power above all, and their sole goal is to be our new Lords and Masters. Note that left wingers are themselves elitists, and have little in common with actual working people, whose values they normally sneer at. Who, after all, best represents normal Americans, Sarah Palin, who came from a modest background, or Elizabeth Warren or the late Ted Kennedy, who represent the world of snooty Harvard elitists?

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