Monday, April 28, 2008

Chief Rabbi: ‘We are living through the death of civility’

Cranmer meant to comment on this Telegraph article by the Chief Rabbi some time ago, but never quite found the time. It is reproduced here verbatim for the edification of those readers and communicants who missed it, for it has much wisdom and insight:

There's a crisis on our streets, especially in London, and it has nothing to do with the cost of housing. As the blame game is played out between ministers and bankers over why mortgages are suddenly much more expensive, the price of life in parts of Britain's inner cities has hit rock bottom.

Forget, for a moment, that the property market is dying, and look instead at the number of murders through unprovoked attacks by amoral teenagers demanding a perverse "respect". While we obsess about a rise in payments to the building society, the society we have built is falling apart.

In two court cases at the Old Bailey this week, details emerged of killings perpetrated by gangs of youths, some as young as 14, operating like hyenas. They hunted in packs and slaughtered their prey.

In February last year, in an affluent area of west London, a group of feral monsters set about 16-year-old Kodja Yenga with knives, hammers and baseball bats. The boy, a regular churchgoer, who was studying for AS levels, died in hospital, having been beaten and stabbed by five members of the MDP gang - Murder Dem Pussies.

Two months later, on Good Friday, a few miles across the capital in Leytonstone, 14-year-old Paul Erhahon was walking home when he bumped into the Cathall Street Bois gang, described in court as a "cult obsessed with violence". One of the older boys, aged 15, ordered the "youngers" to attack Erhahon. He was stabbed through the heart with a sword.

In both instances, the victims were assailed by a rampaging mob, howling for blood. The culprits appeared to have no fear of being identified. The Cathall thugs even boasted about their criminal exploits on YouTube. Brazen? Stupid? Evil? Take your pick.

Yenga's tormentors chased him along a street, shouting "Catch him! Kill him!" It was eerily redolent of Lord of the Flies, as if a scene from William Golding's sinister masterpiece had been transported to W6.

In the novel, a group of schoolboys, stranded on an island, descend into savagery. They whip themselves into a frenzy, chanting, "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" Then they rip to pieces one of their own, Simon.

The theme, Golding wrote, is about "the darkness of man's heart". His plot has become a tale of our times. From the fiction of 1954, to the facts of 2008.

Crimes of serious violence are rising in Britain. This is not the creation of a fevered press, anxious to produce eye-catching headlines, as some ministers claim.

The Government can spin the numbers hither and thither, but the brutal reality is that knife and gun attacks are becoming an everyday occurrence. Of the 200,000 violent offences in London last year, 3,459 involved firearms.

Statistics issued by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London show that street robberies in which a knife was used jumped sharply between 2004 and 2007. Deaths linked to knife crime rose by 18 per cent last year, from 219 to 258. The victims are more likely to be young people, those living in poor areas and ethnic communities.

Enver Solomon, the centre's deputy director, said: "The average age of male homicide victims in the Metropolitan Police area is definitely declining."

A BBC London poll of 500 youths, aged 13 to 18, across five boroughs, Brent, Croydon, Hackney, Lambeth and Southwark, revealed that one third knew someone who had been the victim of a knife assault and 17 per cent knew a victim of gun crime. Three-quarters of those questioned expected violent crime to go up again this year.

From the curse of coarse behaviour and the blight of litter to casual violence and extreme physical abuse, there is a pervasive nastiness rotting away at this country's foundations. Some urban areas feel wholly dysfunctional.

Apologists are quick to blame deprivation. If only it were that simple. Quite a few of England's worst football hooligans are earning fortunes in the City. Their poverty is not financial; it's a complete absence of worthwhile values - a collapse of decency.

Britain's Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, sums up the anxieties of many: "We are living through the death of civility … Today, it is commonplace to encounter road rage, muggings, street crime, drunkenness, lager louts, hoodies, yobbishness and laddishness. Teachers are attacked in the classroom. Nurses encounter violence from patients."

The death of civility? I'm afraid so. The liberal revolution of the Sixties, which separated morality from law, is leading us, says Sacks, to "a new form of barbarism". The view that "it's legal, so I can do it" is destroying the fabric of social harmony. Manners are disappearing, along with courtesy and shame.

The story of Shannon Matthews' abduction tells us much about the state we are in. Mercifully, the girl was rescued and taken into care. But the details of her mother's breeding with a multiplicity of partners defies rational analysis.

Karen Matthews has seven children from five fathers, an extreme example of what author Tony Parsons called "the blended family", a toxic mixture for many of the unfortunate offspring who are trapped in the middle.

The breakdown of the traditional family was likened last Saturday by a High Court judge, Mr Justice Coleridge, to an out-of-control cancerous body, posing more of a threat to our futures than global warming.

The family courts, he said, are witnessing "a never-ending carnival of human misery". So, too, are hospitals and clinics, as the number of abortions in Britain continues to rise.

When young hoodlums are prepared to hack someone to death in broad daylight, I suppose we should not be surprised that their teenage girlfriends switch off unborn life without remorse. I spoke to a leading female academic who said "more education" was needed to ease the problem. She was, I'm afraid, making excuses for many who are comfortable with abortion as a form of contraception.

About 200,000 terminations take place in England and Wales every year. The numbers have been rising steadily for a long time. Are we saying that the availability of information about safe sex and reproduction is diminishing? Hardly. What's missing is a code of ethics.

While Court of Appeal judges fret over the human rights of terrorist suspects, blocking their extradition in case they don't get a fair trial, British law is happy to approve the extermination of unwanted foetuses at 24 weeks.

The state protects Abu Qatada, but not semi-formed babies. Their lives are no longer precious, not even cheap. They are deemed to be worthless.

When our legal system loses its moral compass, it is only to be expected that on the mean streets of Britain many impressionable children will do the same.

39 Comments:

Anonymous Homophobic Horse said...

Aye Cranners, good one. You've totally made up for that "Standards in Education" post.

200,000 abortions a year. Well there's our demographic crisis explained.

Meanwhile Guido has posted utter shit on his blog. There's the difference.

27 April 2008 at 23:04  
Blogger mongoose said...

Your Grace, I "did" the Lord of the Rings at O-level in the seventies. We closetted Grammar School boys pooh-poohed it. Children of the Sixties we laughed. How could it be true? Not possible now. Joni wouldn't do that.

The message - that when unfettered by society's civilising structure - "man's essential illness" breaks through and the savage emerges was a hoot. Our English teacher pointed us back to Henry V. Hero, warrior and all around good guy, he slaughtered his prisoners at Agincourt because he was angry. The descent is always around the corner for any of us.

We see this everywhere. In wartime, for instance, the sanctity of life is undermined. This loosens the rules and Abu Ghraib results. Look no further than WWII. Look no further than Bosnia. Look no further Chechnya. Look no further than a football crowd. When we are become a tribe, we are become less human and our fellows along with us.

As to what to do about feral gangs.Where there is shame, there is hope. Where has shame gone?

27 April 2008 at 23:43  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
i always did like him, now i know why.

shalom

28 April 2008 at 00:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The liberal revolution of the Sixties, which separated morality from law

I think Legal Positivism was around before the 1960s, but the expansion of higher education in the USA and UK in economies fuelled by cheap oil, did let Herbert Marcuse and his Frankfurt School Marxists propagate their version of "God is Dead - Long Live Man as Master of the Universe" - able to do exactly as he pleased simply by controlling the institutions - Media, Politics, Education.

It is interesting that the expansion of Western economies was in those areas - Media, Education, Politics - rather than in industrial companies.

Rather like Hermann Hesse's "Glass Bead Game" they have created an ivory tower where Theory reigns supreme and Reality is ignored; Violence is feared and shied away from; and the disintegration of the outer world makes the ivory tower ever more absurd.

28 April 2008 at 07:36  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Bonjour, your Grace

CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY

Sehr interessant

In the UK, we & our Government behave as if there are no consequences for us

eg you pay people a lot of money for doing nothing .... and then you are surprised that there is an increase in single parent families

eg in 2003 you invade Iraq, (apparently) neither knowing or caring whether there really were WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) .... and 100,000+ + Iraqis have died .... but there is no (apparent) responsibility for Mr Blair and his No 10 "Dodgy" Dossier manufacturers

eg you give a clear signal to Juvenile Criminals that they will not be effectively punished, if they behave badly ..... and Street Murders are now reaching proportions where it is not just harmless African immigrants who are being slaughtered but even "nice" Middle-Class "White" Chaps (as that Linklaters' Solicitor suffered recently)

eg as the decades roll into 40+ years, you slaughter foetuses as if there is no tomorrow at a rate that trivialises the casualties in the few months of the 1916 Somme

but :

Que Faire

Alles Gute und Tot Siens

G Eagle

28 April 2008 at 08:12  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Your Grace:

"When our legal system loses its moral compass....."

a) It is not the system but those in it who have (or do not have) moral compasses. Recently some senior legal figures seem to have encountered substantial magnetic fluctuations.

b) The assumption here is that there is a common understanding of 'morality'. I'm not too sure that is so.

c) It should be understood by all that legality and morality are two entirely different concepts. True, the British legal systems have been based on a bedrock of Christian notions of morality.

d) It is argued by (for example) Muslims that their morality should be considered - at the very least - in relationship to the legal system. Maybe, given the history of law and the current exponential growth of Muslim communities which may lead to a majority within the overall population, they have a point. After all, whose legal system is it?

28 April 2008 at 10:58  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

The foundation of all legal codes is justice; justice is an integral part of the revelation of God;
'and he looked for justice, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry' (Isa:5,7)

Therefore it is incorrect to say that justice and morality are two entirely different concepts;they are a seamless robe that we have torn down the middle; Sharia is still undivided in that respect.

The social revolution of the 1960's did not bring liberation, but abandonment. The 'right' to individual, free and untrammelled self-expression without any regard for others has ushered in the law of the jungle. The concepts of 'right' and 'wrong' have been purged from the legal, educational and social services vocabularies, to be replaced by 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' behaviour.

'And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.'(2 Ch:24,24)

28 April 2008 at 11:30  
Anonymous woman on a raft said...

Your Grace: this article is not by the Chief Rabbi. It was by Jeff Randall, Telegraph 13/04/2008.

Only one paragraph is attributable to Sir Jonathan:
Britain's Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, sums up the anxieties of many: "We are living through the death of civility … Today, it is commonplace to encounter road rage, muggings, street crime, drunkenness, lager louts, hoodies, yobbishness and laddishness. Teachers are attacked in the classroom. Nurses encounter violence from patients."

The subsequent paragraph also quotes him, but in an interpretive fashion.

My understanding is that the Chief Rabbi is wary - unlike some clerics - of imposing a particular moral code outside of his own religion, although he sometimes steps over that line and asserts inalienable rights, meaning 'self-evident to me', when in fact it isn't at all clear there is a right, let alone that it is inalienable.

He has, however, regularly explained the classical orthodox positions if people wish to know.

This 2001 text of the Samuel Gee Lecture given by him lays out the major issues. The Chief Rabbi is scrupulously careful to state that there are differing authorities and notes that at the time of writing the science is changing and this may affect the reasoning later on. One of the things he mildly complains of is people picking up scraps of his words and mis-interpreting them or commandeering them to support a view he would not necessarily go along with.

"I want to be quite explicit on this point, because some months ago my support for a committee of the House of Lords to consider the question of stem cell research was construed in some circles as opposition to that research. That is not the case."

28 April 2008 at 11:45  
Anonymous vincent mckenzie said...

Your Grace, trust me on this one, nobody is listening, nobody that counts gives a shit.

28 April 2008 at 14:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'nobody that counts gives a s&!£ '

Either of them.

5 years ago, a frightened and confused 19-year-old, suffering from depression, went to the Doctor to explain that she was pregnant unintentionally. The Doctor's only response was to arrange an abortion. No counselling was offerred, either before or after. In a matter of days, the whole 'process' was over, and as far as the medical profession was bothered, the 'problem' had been solved. (The arrangement was made on the grounds that I was 'financially unsupported. But I had a full-time job and two parents.)

That 19-year-old girl was me. I had actually gone to the Doctor because I needed someone to talk to, to discuss what my options were, and to make sense of what had happened. Had the Doctor engaged with this idea, she would've found out that I had been raped, and was in need of support. To a confused, lonely and mentally-ill young woman, the abortion offered seemed a good answer. But nothing prepared me for the emotional pain that I felt when I woke up without my baby inside me any more. I have never got over that pain and never will, I will always feel empty.

The trouble with this society is that it is totally technocratic. The powers that be consider that there is a solution to every problem (unwanted pregnancy? simple. Kill it. Speeding drivers? Simple. Photo them.), unless there isn't one, in which case there is no problem. What's more, the only people who know what the solution is are (miraculously) the experts who work for the powers that be. Everyone else's expert is 'misguided'.

The man who raped me doesn't think he did anything wrong. He has served a prison sentence (the next victim wasn't so shy or retiring, and I never will be again now I've got over it) and is out now. He has the same opinion he had when he went in. The problem is not solved at all. He doesn't understand that other people exist, really. He only understands his own feelings and rights, and not those of others. This is a problem, and it is because society has broken down. It doesn't have an 'if x, do y' solution. I don't pretend I know what the solution is. I do know though, that as long as the techno-heads are in charge, no-one will find the solution, because they have 'numbers' that 'prove' that there isn't a problem.

I believe if I had been given proper support, I would have continued that pregnancy. But I was frightened that unless I reported the rape to the Police, which I didn't want to do because I didn't want my parents to be upset, I would have to give him access to the child if he wanted. Had someone told me this could be avoided, I never would have agreed to the termination. In hindsight, and older and wiser woman of 24 realises that there was a way round it. If society was working properly, a Doctor working for the state would've been able to help me find the solution that worked for me.

28 April 2008 at 15:35  
Anonymous Adrian Peirson said...

Not by accident, but Design.

http://eutruth.org.uk/subversion.htm

How the Global Elite funded Feminism to Undermine Society

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=9196072

http://prisonplanet.com/articles/january2007/290107rockefellergoal.htm



Communism/Rothschilds deceipt

http://www.savethemales.ca/000275.html
Gays and Feminists will be sorry
http://www.savethemales.ca/000280.html
http://rense.com/general81/blight.htm
How much evidence
http://www.savethemales.ca/141002.html

28 April 2008 at 16:02  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

"When we are become a tribe, we are become less human and our fellows along with us".

Interesting comment Mongoose, its arguable that the natural tribe is family and strong family ties and values are what have broken down and subsequently lead to much of the mayhem we see.

A return to tribalism will be the solution to the multi-culti diversity experiment, loyalty cannot be to a State or their laws unless their loyalty is to your kith and kin.

Royalty is the perfect example of successful tribalism.

28 April 2008 at 16:04  
Anonymous Adrian Peirson said...

6 Million Abortions to date, Dawn Primorolo is pushing a bill to Sterilise British Schoolgirls and Former Commie Jack Straw says, 'the British are not worth saving as a race'
Those children would by now be having children of their own, yet we are told we need more People here.

Just how Much evidence does her Majesty and our Generals need.

28 April 2008 at 16:06  
Anonymous Homophobic Horse said...

What "anonymous" has written above is a horrific testament to the abandonment of God and truth.

"The man who raped me doesn't think he did anything wrong."

No and why should he? It is the will of the universe. He is matter that thinks.

HE SHOULD FEAR THE COMING OF THE LORD.

28 April 2008 at 16:25  
Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Steadmancinques

"Therefore it is incorrect to say that justice and morality are two entirely different concepts"

Did anyone here actually say that?

We were, I thought, comparing Morality and Law. Since when has Law been Justice?

Maybe you'd care to put up your definition of these three terms, then?

As to God's Revelations, which particular God was that?

28 April 2008 at 19:08  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

unsworth; I suggest you try reading the article that His Grace posted again; you will see the relationship between morality and law is specifically mentioned; you yourself disavowed a relationship between legality and morality; it would be a mere quibble to argue that 'legality' is a different concept to 'law' for the purposes of a passing comment on a blog. I would take it as axiomatic that a system of law must rest upon justice, otherwise it is merely bad law, of which, I admit there is plenty. Justice requires disinterested equality in both the formation and application of law; it requires that penalties appropriate to the crime are inflicted; it involves also the concepts of mercy and truth; all these qualities are distinguished in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic traditions ab initio.

There is only one God; but there are differing interpretations.

28 April 2008 at 22:31  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Hmmm. I agree, generally. Though he and I would part company on the abortion issue, I think. It rather depends on what he is saying, which he is not clear about.

But I would have liked him to give us some hope. We already know what he is saying, don't we? Decency has disappeared. The question is what to do about it.

28 April 2008 at 23:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for the record, this was actually an article by Jeff Randall in which he gives a short quote by the Chief Rabbi. Doesn't make it any less a good article, of course.

29 April 2008 at 01:54  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Though he and I would part company on the abortion issue,

So, do you think there are too many ? Too few ? Or just right ?

29 April 2008 at 09:01  
Anonymous Cinnamon said...

It was a good article until the brain dead rant about abortion started... demanding more dysfunctional kids to be born to feckless mothers.

Oh Herr, schmeiss Hirn vom Himmel!

29 April 2008 at 09:28  
Anonymous Raoul SC said...

Your Grace,
If I am not mistaken, Ersnt Junger as early as the 30's wrote that aborption would be the next weapon of mass destruction.
I understand it might not be the right place for a question, yet your post gives me an urge to ask it. Could it be that the Western world has lived through a few decades of relative harmony (50's, 60's...) when the sentiment of righteous order (proper schools, capital punishment etc) balanced out the sentiment of freedom (sexuality,), and that we have forgotten what our natural condition is, was and always will be, ie suffering ?

29 April 2008 at 09:42  
Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Steadmancinques

This article was not written by Jonathan Sacks, it was written by Jeff Randall of Telegraph.

Sacks is (apparently) reported by Randall as attributing the ‘death of civility’ to the ‘liberal revolution of the Sixties, which separated morality from law’. That in itself is debatable. I’d contend that the origins of any such separation were much earlier than that, but clearly you do not. In any event, where exactly in this article is that relationship discussed?

I do not recall saying that legality was a different concept to law. Why must a ‘system of law’ ‘rest upon’ Justice? Are the laws in countries ruled by absolute dictators resting upon Justice?

Once again I’d ask for your definitions of Justice, Law, and Morality.

As to there being only one God – how do we know?

29 April 2008 at 11:08  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

@unsworth
This could take some time; I don't want to bore other readers to death, so I'll try to keep it short.
Ignoring semantics; What I said was that our concepts of Justice derive directly from scripture, and that systems of law which do not rest upon Justice are bad law. Take, for example, the apartheid system in South Africa, fully legal, but manifestly founded on injustice. It is no co-incidence that the leaders of the resistance to apartheid, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Trevor Huddleston were either active Christians, or drew their lifelong motivations directly from the Judeo Christian concepts of humanity and human rights.

As for my definitions, they are all to be found in the Bible; a good concordance should help you here.

WE, in the universal sense, don't know there is only one God; I believe that there is; for Christians, the interaction between individual belief and collective consciousness and action, is a complex one, but well set out in the gospel of John. I believe that that Jesus is Lord, and all that that statement implies. Very briefly put, the foundations of my faith are scriptural, evidential and experiential,ie, the truth of the Bible, the witness of countless millions who have shared that belief, and the power of the Holy Spirit in my own life.

29 April 2008 at 13:24  
Anonymous vincent mckenzie said...

Justice, Law, and Morality are boundaries that have to be set by people. You can argue a point that there is nothing wrong with murder, that is to say the murderer thinks its fine and who are we to disagree, but what a silly argument. The words common sense are another example of loose definition, but again, what a silly argument. How many Gods are there? well, there are quite a few by all accounts, but how many actually are there? Another silly argument.

29 April 2008 at 13:37  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Cinnamon speaks of the "the brain dead rant about abortion". Does he mean that 6 million abortions is o.k.?
Morality and law: I heard a lawyer say, during a committee meeting, when some asked, "But would that be right?" - "Never mind whether it is right. It's legal". An immoral lawyer.

29 April 2008 at 13:50  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

Sorry, Vincent, if justice, law and morality are set by people, you end up on a train to Auschwitz...

29 April 2008 at 14:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Justice, Law, and Morality are boundaries that have to be set by people.

I think you might want to read some Immanuel Kant - try Metaphysik der Sitten which Paton translated as The Moral Law

Kant tried to posit other reasons than God for moral codex but ultimately he needs to make agreement "universalisable" for it to function and ends up in just the predicament you will with your suggestion.


The old saying attributed to Louis Veuillot becomes your problem:

“When I am the weaker, I ask you for my freedom, because that is your principle; but when I am the stronger, I take away your freedom, because that is my principle”

29 April 2008 at 14:55  
Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Steadmancinques:

"our concepts of Justice derive directly from scripture"
Speak for yourself. And would your understanding of 'scripture' include the Koran and the various religious texts of others such as Hindus, Buddhists and so on?

"As for my definitions, they are all to be found in the Bible
Really? Where? Old or New Testament?

"WE, in the universal sense, don't know there is only one God; I believe that there is;"
Ah, some progress then. You have now decided that you do not speak for the whole of mankind, just for yourself. That is as it should be, and clearly the Holy Spirit is beginning to work.

It is most unwise to ignore semantics.

29 April 2008 at 15:16  
Anonymous Voyager said...

"WE, in the universal sense, don't know there is only one God; I believe that there is;"
Ah, some progress then. You have now decided that you do not speak for the whole of mankind, just for yourself. That is as it should be, and clearly the Holy Spirit is beginning to work.


I suspect the emphasis of this paragraph is less on the we and I and much more on the issue of Knowledge and Belief.

It is fairly straightforward to comprehend that it is Judaism that provided the foundation of much of our cultural heritage even though it was filtered through Greek interpretations which became infused with Roman imperial history.

The difference is self-evident in non-Christian societies and extreme in Koranic societies, and in societies which have deliberately set out to undo Christian heritage.

29 April 2008 at 15:40  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Voyager
Well I'm not sure the issue is about numbers. I am not against abortion. But I am for considered behvaiour in all spheres. Abortion, these days, because of its availability, its ease, and the general acceptance of society can be used in a way that does not treat it with the gravity it deserves.

Quite how many are guilty of this, I do not know.

29 April 2008 at 17:55  
Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Voyager

What is 'cultural heritage'? And please give some examples of societies which have 'deliberately set out to undo Christian heritage'. Would you perhaps agree that a reciprocity might exist in the Crusades, The Reformation or the Spanish Inquisition - as examples?

When you discuss 'our cultural heritage' I take it that you mean the British 'cultural heritage' rather than, say, Scandinavian or Central European or Eastern European 'heritages'. Again, who are 'we'?

29 April 2008 at 18:57  
Anonymous Voyager said...

please give some examples of societies which have 'deliberately set out to undo Christian heritage

Revolutionary France
USSR
Nazi-Germany
Communist China
Communist Vietnam
Communist Poland
Communist Ukraine
Turkey
Nazi-Occupied Poland


When you discuss 'our cultural heritage' I take it that you mean the British 'cultural heritage'

I speak of EUROPE a large area extending from The Urals to the Atlantic and northwards as you say to include Scandinavia

AS for The Spanish Inquisition you might note that in Spain The Inquisition was NOT under the control of the Church of Rome but a national entity controlled by Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain who had liberated their country from Muslim Occupation.

I do not understand your reference to The Crusades but suspect neither do you. Red Herring.

30 April 2008 at 07:03  
Blogger Unsworth said...

So, Voyager, do you speak on behalf of all these peoples when you say 'we'? If so, by what right?

I'm still eagerly awaiting your definition of 'cultural heritage' and perhaps you could add 'Christian heritage' to your explanation/clarification.

That the Inquisition was not under the direct control of the Vatican State is true (and I'd note that the Church of Rome is a different body). Sixtus IV himself agreed to these actions by Ferdinand and Isabella, although he later complained that they had been 'too zealous'. But generally the Church of Rome did not speak out against the principle and remained mute when, having become bored with tormenting the Jews, the Inquisitors turned their attentions to the Protestants. Sixtus issued the Papal Bull which established the Inquisition, but subsequently he withdrew it - an interesting development of Papal Infallibility, however I'm grateful for his chapel which was one of his more sensible decisions. The Inquisition took place under the auspices of the Holy See over a period of some 350 years until 1834, when Isabella II had the political acuity to abolish it.

Do you not think that most evangelistic religions seek - or at least have historically sought - conversion of non-believers by force of arms or by what has sometimes been called 'cultural imperialism'? And - given your examples - would you equate Communism with religions?

30 April 2008 at 10:25  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

@ unsworth

Curiously enough, here in Maidstone we have an annual judges' service, where the judiciary and the town council process in full regalia to All Saint's Church for a service to mark the start of the annual law term. Choirs from local grammar schools sing, and primary school children participate. I think you might conclude that there is some link between the judiciary and the Church of England; you might concede that it is symbolic of the connection between the British system of justice and the Christian religion, but I somehow doubt that you will.

Semantics? 'Pah', said the Red Queen, looking down haughtily at Alice, 'when I use a word I make it mean what I want it to mean'.

For myself, I consider that I have given enough information as to where the truth may be found, and how to find it; you will also find Grace, Mercy and Peace if you travel there. It is a road that I first set foot on over thirty years ago, having started as a scornful mocker.

30 April 2008 at 16:04  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Maidstone, eh?

I know it far too well - the cradle of civilisation at the base of the Downs...

What happens on Remembrance Day, then? As 36 and the old boys march through the town does that symbolise a link between the Church and the Military?

I've met Grace and Mercy - fine strapping girls they are, too - but I've yet to meet Peace.

So much for semantics, then.

30 April 2008 at 17:28  
Anonymous Voyager said...

As 36 and the old boys march through the town does that symbolise a link between the Church and the Military?

Should it not ? Soldiers of that generation are usually more religiously observant than the mass of the public. Faced with death and destruction there are as they say "No Atheists in fox-holes"

30 April 2008 at 21:15  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

Article 37;

'It shall be lawful for a Christian man to bear arms and serve in the wars'

30 April 2008 at 22:56  
Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Steadmancinques,
I don't think anyone here is suggesting that it is unlawful for Christians (of both sexes) to bear arms and serve in wars. The Casus Belli is crucial to its legality and morality, of course, and the concept of a Just War is extremely complex.

@ Voyager
As to the perceived linkage between the Church and the Military I was merely seeking your view. And as to Atheists in foxholes, I can vouch that there are some. But as I have remarked elsewhere - nothing reinforces one’s own religious beliefs quite so much as the sound of approaching gunfire.

I suspect that it is not solely soldiers of that generation who may be more religiously observant. It's my view that all of that generation is more so. Whether that is a generational difference or whether it is simply what happens when one ages is not clear. I rather hope it might be the latter.

1 May 2008 at 10:35  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

@unsworth
'I don't think anyone here is suggesting that it is unlawful for Christians (of both sexes) to bear arms and serve in wars.'
I didn't think anyone was; I merely quoted Article 37 to show the connection between the military and Christianity. (well Anglicanism, anyway). I'm afraid that inclusive language hasn't reached the thirty-nine articles yet.
As for Grace and Mercy, I agree that they are fine, strapping girls, but just wait until you encounter Wisdom! What a beauty!. However, I can confidently predict that you will go out with Joy!

1 May 2008 at 12:44  

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