The moral necessity of Christianity
The article is worth quoting at length:
In the West, we have a vast cultural and intellectual heritage. But our ethical heritage is sadly depleted. Its two wells were the Classics and Christianity. The Classical well has already ceased to function. The Christian one may run dry even before the oil wells. Prime Minister Salisbury said that anyone who expected the Christian ethic to survive Christian theology by more than two or three generations was deluded. He has yet to be refuted.
There are those who would try to brush his point aside by denying that the Christian ethic has any value, and the past 2,000 years provides them with plenty of prima facie evidence. So did Christianity make man better, worse, or just the same? It is an irresolvable dispute, but the Christians can adduce some arguments in their favour. Theirs is a religion of love in which charity is a duty. If that cannot persuade man to behave well, original sin is the best short account of the human condition.
As a result, religion is one of the most powerful impulses in the human psyche, and shares a characteristic with two of the others, sex and money. They can all be profoundly creative or profoundly destructive. Religion has inspired painting, architecture and music. It has also inspired persecution, atrocities and massacres. It is surely preferable that this elemental force should be embanked, as great rivers are so that they can flow to the sea without inundating the land. For all their faults, the modern established churches are the safest means of ensuring this.
The second practical argument for Christianity relates to Islam, a religion which is not in decline. Westerners have a problem in dealing with Muslims; too many of us are infested with vulgar Marxism. So when believers who are angry with us talk about their faith, we assume that this is a mere metaphor for political and economic grievances. We are too ready to discount the possibility that our opponents are saying what they believe and that their grievances are largely religious in origin.
This is not to deny that religion and politics may combine to cause an explosion, especially in Islamic countries which do not recognise the distinction between the two. In Scotland, the SNP has convinced many voters that William Wallace was a poll-tax rebel, cruelly murdered by Margaret Thatcher. The SNP has used a "Braveheart" version of early 14th-century Scottish history to inflame unjustified grievances. It is hardly surprising that in countries where the grievances are genuine, a truthful version of 7th-century Islamic history can inflame the passions.
It was one of the most remarkable occurrences in history. Primitive tribesmen surged forth from the Arabian peninsula. Within 100 years, they had defeated the Byzantine and Persian empires. Only Charles Martel prevented them from overrunning Western Europe. This is not to suggest that we return to Charles Martel's methods. The era of the Crusades is over. But in our dealings with Islam, it would help us if we had more confidence in our own values and traditions.
And Cranmer applauds Mr Anderson’s conclusion:
In order for that to occur, as many people as possible ought to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This requires a missionary zeal, and the total rejection of the politically-correct mantra that ‘all religions are basically the same’. That requires the re-assertion of the freedom of speech, and thus the freedom to offend without being arrested for committing some phobia or other.