Sunday, July 20, 2008

Richard the Lion-Hearted and Rowan Williams
Perhaps less than fair (and we are talking about the Daily Mail after all) as we’re not given the context or entirety of Dr Williams’ remarks but Tom Piatak and some of his commenters at Taki make a good point about the difference between on one hand the fairness and decency of orthodox Christianity, acknowledging the goodness in an enemy (King Richard on Saladin), and a false humility (the politically correct mania for apologising for things Christians have done throughout history) on the other that’s at best mistaken and at worst has been described thus by Dante at Damian Thompson’s:
The trouble with Rowan Williams is that he’s afraid to take a stand on basic Christian beliefs. Alas, because he’s fearful of upsetting the “would be” dictators of atheistic totalitarianism in Britain.
He’s credally orthodox but in a way that doesn’t go against modern received opinion (roughly what Modernists mean by the will of God or ‘the Spirit’).

A bit of perspective: most Americans don’t know or care who he is. (Lest this be taken as unduly picking on the Anglicans the same is true of the Orthodox patriarchs.)
There’s a growing totalitarianism in Britain which is cleverly and craftily disguised. It’s disguised because the would-be dictators — and there are many of them — all pretend to be more tolerant than thou.
A good description of the kind of liberal churchgoer (usually of a certain age or older) crying online because somewhere conservative churches exist, a ‘sensitivity’ that offends my libertarian sensibilities as much as my Catholic ones.
They hide alongside the anti-racists, the anti-homophobes and anti-sexists. But what they are really against is something very different. They — call them secular fundamentalists — are anti-God, and what they really want is the eradication of religion, and all believers, from the face of the earth.
Well, the milder American version of this logical terminus of Protestantism with its private judgement is ‘spiritual not religious’ or having Christian trappings but I not God or a church call the shots.
In recent years these unpleasant people have had a strategy of exploiting Britain’s innate politeness. They realised that ... overly sensitive souls had bent over backwards to avoid giving offence. Trying not to give offence was, despite the excesses, a noble courtesy.
As Joe Sobran has said, Protestants, who are often wonderful, can be too nice for their own good and thus taken advantage of.

I like the idea of the state backing off and religious groups policing themselves, as Dr Williams recently suggested about sharia, as long as they don’t harm others (so no more ‘no-go’ Muslim zones in parts of England).

P.S. Like Russell Kirk I’m a liberal!
The author may be from North America, however, and so he thinks he means “liberals” when he really means what we here call “socialists”, and kinds of other fascist leftists: these are actually are the enemies of Christendom, and its second cradle, Western civilisation. In England, what we (and I in particular) mean by “liberals” is what he would call “libertarians”.

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