The C of E: leftists at prayer


fairford-170452_1280Our established Church used to be called the Tory party at prayer. No more.

The prayer part of it has been debauched by female priesthood and, to crown it all, episcopate.

And as to the Tory bit, the Church is firmly positioning itself on the left of the political spectrum. (So is much of today’s Tory party, but this is beside the point.)

As far as I know, the bishops haven’t endorsed any party yet. They have, however, proposed the full gamut of loony left policies.

Their Graces have just released a document advising ‘Christian men and women’ how they should vote in the upcoming election. The advice outlines policies that are supposedly consonant with the Christian outlook on life.

One such policy is further European integration. To wit: there is “an enduring argument for continuing to build structures of trust and cooperation between the nations of Europe”.

Take out the words ‘structures of’, and the statement is unobjectionable, if ever so slightly banal. But the word ‘structures’ makes it crystal clear that it’s not just the Christian desiderata of trust and cooperation that are being preached here, but a single European state.

However, it just so happens that most Christians I know hate the EU and most atheists love it. There is a good reason for both extremes.

The traditional state of Christendom mirrored the subsidiarity of the Church, with power devolved to the lowest sensible level.

On the other hand, the atheist post-Enlightenment state is all about endless centralisation, with power radiating from the periphery to the capital.

The logical result of this process is the denationalisation of political power, which eventually begins to gravitate towards a greater nexus than any one country can provide.

Even Christians who aren’t well-versed in political theory sense intuitively that a single European state, which we already have de facto if not quite de jure, represents a subversive denial of the political tradition of Christendom.

The political watershed runs in parallel with the ecclesiastical one. The only airtight definition of a political conservative is a person who wishes to preserve the founding tenets of our civilisation and build on its multifarious heritage. Conversely, a leftie is someone craving the destruction of our civilisation, with all it entails.

That’s why, even without running a private poll, one can be absolutely certain that a greater number of conservatives will be found among Christians than among atheists. After all, one of the principal ecclesiastical functions is preserving both the revelation and its manifestations in quotidian life.

To sum up, by advocating a single European state, Their Graces adopt a political position that’s not only un-Christian but aggressively anti-Christian.

It is of course possible that they haven’t had time to think such matters through. Their waking hours can be more profitably spent on deciding whether female bishops’ skirts should be slit, and if so how high. Looking for a scriptural justification of homosexuality is also a time-consuming pastime.

Fair enough, not everyone can be a deep political thinker. But humility, that Christian virtue the opposite of which is a cardinal sin, ought to have suggested to the bishops that, when one doesn’t really understand the subject, the best thing to do is shut up.

Their other guidance concerns our nuclear deterrent, which Their Geopolitical Graces don’t think we should have.

“Shifts in the global strategic realities,” they write, “mean that the traditional arguments for nuclear deterrence need re-examining.”

Which shifts exactly would they be, Your Graces? A neo-fascist Russia building up and modernising her strategic arsenal, while publicly threatening to turn her adversaries ‘to nuclear dust’? Russian proxy troops raping the Ukraine? Russian nuclear bombers flying a couple of miles off Bournemouth? A virulently anti-Western Iran about to acquire nuclear weapons? The Muslim threat growing in spread and intensity by the minute?

Evil, and I feel embarrassed having to point this out to prelates, is hierarchical. War in general and weapons of mass destruction in particular are evil, but they have to be tolerated if they prevent a greater evil.

That’s why St Augustine of Hippo and St Thomas Aquinas, among others, put forth and developed the doctrine of just war (jus bellum iustum).

If one side’s cause is just, the other side’s cause isn’t. Surely the Christian position must be that justice should prevail over injustice or, more broadly, virtue over evil?

If so, then any weapon, be it bow and arrow or a hydrogen bomb, is morally neutral because its morality is subsumed in the overriding morality of justice. If it helps a moral cause, it’s moral – and vice versa.

Their Graces rile about the Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine, which they call ‘deeply problematic’. They ought to remember that it’s only thanks to this doctrine that Soviet aggression around the world was checked.

Remember the Soviet Union, Your Graces? That political embodiment of the Antichrist, to use your terms? The state that murdered 40,000 priests in the first few years of its existence? Killed or imprisoned millions of believers? Razed tens of thousands of churches?

But for MAD, it would have triumphed. And should we abandon nuclear weapons today, we’d instantly succumb to Russia’s nuclear blackmail, if not direct aggression. Is that the kind of outcome that would pacify the raging consciences of our prelates?

The notion of just war seems to be lost not only on our episcopate collectively but also on the Arch Oil Trader individually. Thus the Right Reverend Justin Welby saw fit to apologise to the Germans for the bombing of Dresden.

No reciprocal apology for the murderous Luftwaffe raids on London, Coventry, Exeter and so on was proffered. Not even in the spirit of ‘trust and cooperation’.

His Grace clearly begrudges Sir Arthur Harris, head of the RAF Bomber Command, his evident inclination towards euroscepticism. And true enough, the devastation of Dresden was most unfortunate.

Yet it can only be properly assessed in the context of just war, which Britain was waging against the second-greatest evil in history. Hence the killing of a Londoner by a V-2 was evil, whereas the killing of a Dresdener by a Lancaster was justifiable, if lamentable.

Apologising for it retrospectively, which seems to be in vogue these days, isn’t only unintelligent but also immoral.

Anyway, why just Dresden? Why not also apologise to the French for the burning of Joan of Arc? Or perhaps to the Arabs for the Third Crusade, which was after all led by an English king?

Welby, Sentamu, Chartres and their 40 episcopal accomplices ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Repeat after me, Your Graces: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa… oops, sorry. Forgot you’re opposed not only to Latin but even to proper liturgical English.

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