Sunday, September 14, 2008

God, who made thee mighty

Cranmer much enjoyed last night’s Last Night of the Proms. And not only for the manifest passion of and for the music, but also for the patriotic fervour it engenders. The Royal Albert Hall was draped with Scottish saltires, Welsh dragons and English crosses of St George, complemented by a healthy showing of numerous Union flags. And, as ever, the festival ended with ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, ‘Jerusalem’, and the National Anthem.

God, who made thee mighty... And was the holy Lamb of God on England’s pleasant pastures seen... When Britain first, at heaven's command... Was Jerusalem builded here... God save our gracious Queen...

It is not, of course, the greatest two hours of Promenade music, but it is British and it is a world class celebration. Yet, irritatingly throughout the evening, Cranmer’s mind was intermittently distracted by the voice of Labour’s Margaret Hodge, who earlier this year criticised The Proms for being ‘too white’ or ‘unrepresentative’ of modern Britain – in short, fundamentally ‘un-British’. While Stalin believed that the arts had the potential to shape his brave new world, Ms Hodge is concerned that they should express ‘inclusivity’ or ‘multi-culturalism’, and they ought therefore to be some sort of social barometer, with a healthy proportion of brown, black and yellow faces, with the implicit exhortation to wave the flags of Pakistan and Poland.

But the God who made Britain mighty was not Krishna or Waheguru; Blake did not have a vision of Mohammed walking upon England’s mountains green; Britain did not receive a command either from Jannah or act through karma; Mecca is not being builded here (or is it?); and it is not Allah we ask to save the Queen.

The Bishop of Rochester is right when he observes Britons suffer 'cultural amnesia' about Christian art. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he exhorts the rediscovery of the Christian foundations of British artistic expression:

‘The works of Shakespeare or Milton could not have been written without the English translation of the Bible and the publication of the Book of Common Prayer, while great paintings and pieces of music were inspired by Christianity and made to be showcased in churches and cathedrals.’

He asserts that ‘people are now ignorant of the religious background to our culture’, and this (sadly) includes our politicians. Firsts in PPE or doctorates in the big names of Socialism do not equip our leaders with an understanding of the function or purpose of art. And as they are systematically engineered by the ultra-pc Arts Council of Great Britain, the Christian values which were foundational to ‘Britishness’ are being supplanted by ethnic quotas and religious sensitivities which are invariably anti-white, anti-Christian and anti-British.

Dr Nazir-Ali said: "What amazes me is how people in this country don't take account of the brute fact that the Bible and the prayer book have shaped so much of its literary and cultural achievements... Certainly with art, poetry and music, people aren't exposed to the Biblical root of what has inspired people to create these themes. There should be better interpretation of things.’

So much of the inspiration for art was Christian, and the Bishop simply makes a plea for some reference to this fact to be made, ‘otherwise this amnesia will make the culture more and more shallow’.

Being born in Pakistan, he is well-qualified to warn of the decline of Christian values, which is ‘creating a “moral vacuum” that is being filled by radical Islam’. His solution is to educate, but this is only possible if one wrests education from the hands of manipulative and meddling politicians.

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

laïcité: The absence of religious involvement in government affairs and government involvement in religious affairs.

14 September 2008 at 10:01  
Anonymous narcissa said...

Among the many things that puzzle me is that all the 'minorities' in this country have chosen to live here rather than in the countries of which they are allegedly so proud and whose cultures they find so much more appealing. But where can English people go to be English if we aren't allowed to be it in England? Why are we the only ones that are expected to repudiate or apologise for our history and culture, and the only ones that are expected to change our ways in order to accommodate others? And, most baffling of all, why isn't Margaret Hodge pelted with refuse everywhere she goes?

14 September 2008 at 11:17  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Your Grace,

You have such a brilliant capacity for putting 2 and 2 together, and coming up with something far more interesting than 4. The day the Last Night of the Proms becomes officially 'multi-cultural' will be the night it ceases being so. For God's sake, they play music from all over the world. Doesn't Hodge realise that? And when the politicians start to demand British-Asian or British-Caribbean quotas (or an 'EU' quota) of the audience, don't they realise that 'Land of Hope and Glory' and 'Rule Britannia' will be consideredc 'divisive', and so won't appear in the programme.

14 September 2008 at 11:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

narcissa

Its called brain washing. Your average man/sheep in the street does not basically know his arse from his elbow. Pelting Hodge with refuse: I have run this one like a video through my mind and it has appealing and catharsis type overtones, but it would have no other effect other than to make a mess.

14 September 2008 at 11:56  
Blogger Raven on the Wing said...

I wonder if Miss/Ms/Mrs/Other Hodge would want to insist that some of the black players at Premier League football clubs, should be dropped in order to more accurately reflect the make-up of wider society?

Yes a ridiculous idea, but surely this would be her policy aims applied fairly?

14 September 2008 at 18:16  
Anonymous len said...

The knowledge of God and the teachings of the Bible were the backbone of this country.
Remove the backbone and the body collapses!.
There is a generation now who have no knowledge of the Bible.
To cease believing in God is not to believe in nothing, but to believe in anything.The politicians are leaving this country wide open!!!We need people like Dr Nazir- Ali to speak out, and stand up for the truth.

14 September 2008 at 18:18  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"To cease believing in God is not to believe in nothing, but to believe in anything."

Yes this is very true. Postmodernists are an example par excellence of this. They believe that everything is subjective and all decisions are as meaningful as whether you watch MTV or MTV2. Which explains why they support Islamification and homosexual liberation.

14 September 2008 at 18:21  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

I too enjoyed the last night at the proms. And besides the Union Flag, the Saltire, the Welsh Dragon, being waved, I noticed that the flags of Germany, Holland and the Vatican.

So whatever the message of the LNATP,it is certainly appealing to those outside the British Isles.

I agree partly with Narcissa's view of Mzz Hodge - in fact my true views are somewhat unprintable, and not fit to grace your august blog.

14 September 2008 at 18:56  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

Len and HH.

I do not believe in anything I have no evidence for, including 'God'.

I certainly don't believe in 'anything'. Don't even believe in the outer reaches of what passes for science. Anyone wants me to believe something has to produce evidence that satisfies me.

14 September 2008 at 18:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sir henry morgan

You need to heed the advice in this very important story

14 September 2008 at 19:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain Morgan - rum view that!

I always told my brother - be careful about demanding proof like in that tone of voice: you might not like what you get!!!!

14 September 2008 at 20:15  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Captain Morgan - rum view that; especially given Port Royal.

I always told my brother - be careful about demanding proof in that tone of voice: you might not like what you get!

14 September 2008 at 20:20  
Anonymous len said...

I think you got the wrong religion, the wrong god,
If you want to know the right one look on the cross!!!!

14 September 2008 at 20:20  
Anonymous church/nonmouse said...

sorry about the doubling: computer.

14 September 2008 at 20:21  
Anonymous len said...

There was this guy in vietnam, he was the only christian in his platoon.He was mocked by the atheists.
When the fighting started, the bullets started flying,the atheists started crying to the God they didn`t believe in to save them!!There are no atheists, only people in denial!!

14 September 2008 at 20:26  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

I find you people fascinating. A level of gullibility I grew out of by the time I left primary school.

Stories are just that - stories.

14 September 2008 at 20:35  
Blogger McKenzie said...

If I know anything about the meaning of life after 46 years its this: when your not getting your own way, it sucks major.
But nothing changes, and after the chemicals change in your head and the tantrums fade away you come to terms with your frustrations and move forward leaving the immature soul another step behind you.
I was fortunate to have served in the armed forces (which really does suck) and experienced the discipline (which really does suck major), and I think I am a better person for it.
But at the end of the day it really is not easy to explain to someone why you have chosen to believe in God, and it is a such a thing to explain. I have faith, I believe, but I have absolutely NO idea what to expect, NONE. I put my faith in the fact that I don't understand because I am human, and any feelings about smacking God in the mouth are down to my human failings; and I am so glad to be able to shift the frustrations about human failings, and the total human capacity for being pathetic morons, into the understanding of my limited and confined mortal state of being.
I throw myself into the sky with arms outstretched and pray for the loving arms of God to sweep me up. If I have been sadly deluded, and all my spirituality has been nothing more than biochemical reactions, so what! I'm going under with a bible tucked under my arm and I will take it from there.

Hope to see you all there! Every God Dammed one of you!!!

14 September 2008 at 20:54  
Anonymous Mike Clarke said...

Your Grace,

Surely it is time that Rochester was translated to Canterbury. His muscular Christianity needs a larger stage!

14 September 2008 at 21:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sir henry morgan

You say you put gullibility behind you at the end of last term, I did the same thing but then had a change of heart when I reached 12.
Just sharing my experience with you.

14 September 2008 at 21:19  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

A blind man could quite reasonably conclude that there is no evidence for the existence of "light"...

Sir Henry Morgan, man is not simply "is", you yourself don't believe this as you quite wilfully attribute god to man's desire to invent a consolation against death.

Which means that man has desires, and he dies. Clearly we are not "simply are".

Better to say that man is made in the image of god, and has powers that resemble the god-like, for instance his ability to believe in relatively anything (as opposed to god who can do absolutely anything).

14 September 2008 at 21:40  
Anonymous Brita said...

Love this post and the comments!

HH @ 6:21 p.m: Yes - but I expand your postmodernist category to include deconstructionists, and I note also that Marxism pervades the 'filosofical' products of all the bozos, including those of icons like Foucault, a homosexual. I also remember that the mental illness so dear to decons lies behind another homosexual: Nietzsche.

Further, I think the bozos tend to be homosexual and bisexual first: the 'liberation' pose is a decaying and broken monument to hypocrisy! Their method is intimidation on a scale that stretches from minor harassment to seduction and rape. “Theory” provides them the opportunity to develop and propagate their sickness via the educational system.

I think they chose education knowing that Christians, while developing education in the West, had infused their teachings with the Word: the very thing the bozos want to replace with Marxism. They defeat their own ends because they turn education into a quest for power, rather than a search for Truth.

So do I ever applaud and support His Grace's call. Let’s "wrest(s) education from the hands of manipulative and meddling politicians" --- a group educated by the aforesaid bozos. Let's have it back where it belongs! But-as we saw yesterday: politics and religion must communicate, so I trust and pray that Cameron (and McCain-Palin) keep an eye on these blogs....

14 September 2008 at 22:44  
Anonymous Brita said...

McKenzie:

Re yesterday: Thank You. For my part - sorry if I reacted more strongly than I should. I enjoy your posts and am ever glad of gentle words from other wayfarers in the Vale of Tears! Only yesterday, too, I looked at my post-chemo Chorgi-dog and decided that Count Your Blessings means I'd better jolly learn to thank God for every bit of goodness - on the short path that's left! Evil preponderates out there; but I didn’t know that for a long time.

Re: today and speaking of chemistry... Study of Macrobius, Chaucer, and Christianity influenced me :) - and I figure God arranged brain + chemicals so they could communicate with the imprisoned soul. Thereby, I reckon, He shows the bozos things they’ll never learn from a supercollider!

And speaking of thanks - thank you for having been in the forces. I say we owe you guys.

All blessings,
Brita

14 September 2008 at 23:59  
Blogger tachybaptus said...

But it is Allah we ask to save the Queen. Allah is simply the Arabic for God, the same one no matter what name any monotheist might care to address him by. I have never been able to understand why people get stuck with this simple matter.

15 September 2008 at 01:06  
Anonymous Hilda said...

tachybaptus: Because the English word is God. Because this is England and English is our language. Because, in this language, God basically means Good, to which we add other good things that we've adapted into our tradition from the Hebrew (Light, Truth, etc). Because we follow Hebrew scripture, not the Arabic.

Like Narcissa above, I ask: Why don't people who don't like those facts go back to places and people they do like? I thought we'd set them all a very good example by doing precisely that when we left and came Home - and even by letting some of them come to join us.

This is the thanks we get? We have to turn ourselves into things we never wanted to be - just because they left because they only thought they didn't like it?

Anyway, - the other word doesn't scan to the music of "God Save the Queen"....

15 September 2008 at 02:17  
Anonymous Mary said...

Indeed Last Night must have given headaches to all our Masters - the the euros and their minions. It means that somehow, somewhere, something among us has not responded to the brainwashing.

Isn't the Holy Ghost at work through this? And through the resulting calls of 'carpe diem'?

15 September 2008 at 02:47  
Blogger Newmania said...

Blake did not have a vision of Mohammed walking upon England’s mountains green

Blake was hardly an orthodox Christian either was he, and Jerusalem the poem was written as meaning it was impossible to believe the holy lamb of god would come sniffing around what were clearly dark and Satanic Mills .
I am far from certain there is a more than a superficial claim on Shakespeare as a Christian writer. He certainly has been claimed, for the humanists .One is always in danger of being anachronistic I suppose.
Watching the proms what struck me were the very different social classes of the people performing all of whom were nonetheless able to call on a common culture and create beauty without having to personally know much more than their part
As an image of a certain sort of Conservatism an orchestra is hard to beat .Knowledge unknown to individuals is encoded in the institution and like a community or culture by submitting to a certain modesty inestimable freedoms to express your self are allowed
.The death of a universal culture of this sort has added to the barriers between people . Those who sneered at the " Conservatism" of classical music , the literary cannon etc. did the working classes and lower middle classes great harm by replacing it with a shifting scheme manners on one which one day a dead cow is genius and the next it is rubbish.

I wish I had practiced my cello more

15 September 2008 at 09:56  
Blogger tachybaptus said...

Hilda:

'We follow the Hebrew scripture ...'

So it's OK to call him El, Elohim, Adonai, Jehovah -- just not Allah? Are we allowed to call him Dieu, Gott or Dio?

15 September 2008 at 11:04  
Anonymous len said...

Sir Henry Morgan,
I only know you exist by your word.
God gave us his word, the word became flesh! john 1.
As for gullibility , how do you explain creation and the mysteries of the universe?, THE BIG BANG? thats gullibility!

15 September 2008 at 13:30  
Anonymous Hilda said...

tachybaptus - suit yourself. Just don't expect me to cooperate.

15 September 2008 at 17:58  
Anonymous len said...

God declared himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
This was to avoid confusion!!

15 September 2008 at 18:48  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

My holiday reading threw up two points relevant to this subject.

1 Stephen Ambrose book on D Day included the comment from an old soldier that the German 88 mm gun made more Christian converts than Peter and Paul combined

2 Roger Bacon from the 16th Century observed that God does not complicate things by giving proof miracles to atheists as they cannot even understand the simple everyday miracles all about them.

Varied reading - but useful upon my return

16 September 2008 at 16:03  

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