Marx Burke2
Church of England

Why do bishops flaunt their Socialism but shroud their Conservatism?

 

When the Archbishop of York was giving media interviews recently to promote his book On Rock or Sand?, he made clear that “the theology of where I am coming from” is firmly rooted in the political philosophy of Karl Marx. Indeed, the Archbishop quoted the author of The Communist Manifesto directly and with customary flourish: “From each, according to his resources, to each, according to his need,” he proclaimed. In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr Sentamu cheerfully acknowledged: “That sounds extremely left wing doesn’t it?” There was no shame or stigma in this admission; no embarrassment, disrepute or dishonour. The Archbishop of York advocates the political economy of Marxism, and that is, quite simply, the theology of where he is coming from.

You can’t imagine him – or any other bishop, for that matter – expressing concern over (say) high levels of uncontrolled immigration with an appeal to Edmund Burke, that “the utmost necessity ought.. to engage a nation, in its own defence, for the preservation of the whole”, and then flippantly observe: “That sounds extremely right wing doesn’t it?” No, that would be a certain cause of shame and stigma, for the extreme right is profoundly anti-Christian, while the extreme left is.. well, basically Christian in its redistributive concern for the poor, the widow, the sick and the outcast. Tories, you know, just don’t care about society’s parasites.

It isn’t only bishops, of course. Ordinands in their theological colleges are overwhelmingly of the left, so much so that the occasional right-inclined trainee vicar feels more than obliged to keep very quiet about his (yes, his) philosophical worldview, and would certainly never be seen sipping a mug of coffee while poring over the Daily Mail in the common room (if the committee hasn’t banned it). And Lambeth Palace staff along with arch(episcopal) parliamentary aides aren’t shy about about RT-ing their support or broadcasting their political convictions, either. Nothing wrong with that, at all. Absolutely nothing. But.. well, you never see tweets from Lambeth Palace staff urging a Cameron victory or wishing their Tory mates godspeed in an imminent local election, do you?

One is left to conclude that either there is none, or the culture of the institution is such that to apprehend Christianity in conservative terms is to mock God and drag the name of Jesus through the mud. It is curious that those who work for and minister within the Church of England can unashamedly render unto God the things that are Marxist, but not unto God the things that are Burkean. It is as if Socialism is the transcendent radiation of divine love while Conservatism just crucifies Christ over and over again. Christianity is thereby belittled by a myopic partisanship, for in Christ there is neither left nor right.

The problem with most episcopal perspectives of conservatism and Conservatism is that they lack perspective. Rather like the Church of England itself, the Conservative Party has been an uncomfortable coalition since its inception: it has always combined both Whiggish libertarian radicals and Tory authoritarian conservatives, holding them ‘in tension’. It is home to free-marketeers and interventionists (in the words of Michael Heseltine, “before breakfast and before dinner”); philosophical ideologues and political pragmatists; and, lest it be ignored, church-going Christians and secularist atheists.

And like the Church of England, the Conservative Party’s chronic schizophrenia is only controlled when remedial treatment is administered by a determined leader: then the Party (like the Church) compliantly morphs to the successful leader’s mould (or not, to the protestations of the irked, exiled or unsuccessful candidate[s] for leadership).

Considering the history of conservatism and the Conservative Party’s historic relationship with the Church of England, it is surprising that so few temporal ministers ever seem to mention the Church favourably in their speeches (except when garnering votes); and no spiritual ministers ever seem to mention the Conservative Party favourably, either (except when.. er.. ever).

It is as if the Bishops are so appalled and aggrieved by the unrelenting Conservative assaults on the poor, defenceless and underprivileged that they can no longer be bothered to understand the spiritual depths of people in the party or appreciate the Christian inspiration or foundation of the philosophy.

Conservatism has always been much more about what British conservatives have done and thought than what commentators have written. Conservatives are not necessarily participators in partisan politics; indeed, conservatism is a stance that may be defined without identifying it with the policies of any party. While the core of the philosophy may be distilled from broad and general principles around various themes of liberty – defence of private property, the importance of the nation state, the rule of law, societal evolution rather than revolution – these are the abstract embodiment of a long historical tradition which has frequently adapted to meet the changing social contexts over the centuries.

While the term ‘Conservative Party’ is a nineteenth-century construct, the party itself is the progeny of the religious disputes of the seventeenth century. By 1794, the ‘eternal truths’ of what is today known as ‘conservatism’ were being articulated, this being the year when Burke joined with Pitt (the Younger), who identified himself more with the doctrine and beliefs of the Non-Conformists than with the Anglicans. Locke had also previously published The Reasonableness of Christianity – a political theory of basic human equality reasoned from Scripture. It was not that such principles had not already found political expression, but at the same time as Locke was concerned to examine the extent to which the state should coerce in order to pursue the moral good, Burke was observing that society is organic, and that change must be evolutionary, not revolutionary; consonant with social mores and sensitive to national traditions.

The whole frame of political discussion in this era is saturated with Christian assumptions. At the moment when the doctrines of the French Revolution and ‘the Rights of Man’ arose to threaten Anglo-Saxon liberty, it was Burke who confronted the revolutionary constitution-framers, advocating instead a Protestant understanding of man’s “moral agency in a civil order”:

Now though civil society might be at first a voluntary act, its continuance is under a permanent, standing covenant, co-existing with the society; and it attaches upon every individual of that society, without any formal act of his own… We have obligations to mankind at large, which are not in consequence of any special voluntary pact. They arise from the relation of man to man, and the relation of man to God, which relations are not matters of choice…

For Burke, the godfather of mainstream conservatism, any notion of ‘the Rights of Man’ was inimical both to his Protestant Christian worldview and to the constitutional settlement, and had to be tempered by the duties of man to the community of which he is part. Yes, Conservatives do community.

Burke’s organic conception of the state was cognisant of the fact that the liberties of the individual, poor, illiterate Englishman, especially in regard to religion, had been obtained by sections of the English nation, each seeking the redress of specific grievances, but seeking it always through legal channels and by legal means. He spoke of “great multitudes act(ing) together”, and noted the “grand chorus of national harmony” which constituted a “beautiful order”. This ought to chime with the very raison d’être of the Church of England.

Appeals to this “grand chorus of national harmony” have been a constant mainstream refrain in conservative history, from the unity imposed by the Protestant Settlement, through the age of Empire, the creation of the British Commonwealth and the assertion of Britain’s continuing role on the world stage, all of which have been shadowed by the Worldwide Anglican Communion – the universal theological expression of England’s “beautiful order”. The conservative order manifests itself in patriotism, custom, respect for the law, loyalty to a leader or monarch, and in the willing acceptance of the privileges of those to whom privilege is granted.

The liberal strand of conservatism was articulated by JS Mill: “The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.” The emphasis is on personal development and the negative impact of conditioning and conformity which are seen to stifle individual development. The liberty that Mill proclaimed was one in which all individuals are equally free to develop innate talents and abilities: he assumed that individuals would naturally tend to be drawn towards what they are good at doing and this natural ability, freely allowed to develop, would enhance society. Mill places liberty close to individualism because “over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”. He dismisses corporatism and the social-collective, preferring individual expression in contradistinction to the state and its monolithic institutions. He would probably never have said that there is “no such thing as society”, but he was certainly concerned to note that “society has fairly got the better of individuality”.

The old Whig-Tory divisions persists in the Conservative Party still; indeed, liberal Conservatism as a mainstream faction can trace its origins in the Conservative Party back to 1822. The competing ‘wings’ of the Party are not now so much concerned with the status quo of King or Church over revolutionary reform, but with such philosophical concepts as the via media between Burke’s benign paternalism and Mill’s individual liberalism.

While the conservative is undoubtedly concerned with liberty, there is no support for complete autonomy or unrestrained individualism because attempts to articulate truths about the world are likely to be founded on observation, and the conservative sustains a disbelief in the instant changeability of human nature. This is where the Bishops profoundly misunderstand and misrepresent the philosophy. The Conservative Party is in tension because conservatism itself seeks to articulate a middle way between institutional continuity and personal freedom: the individual’s identification with something greater – be it society, class, religion, state or nation – is deemed to possess an innate authority or to be of a value which transcends the value of individuality.

This is the Conservative ‘middle way’ or ‘centre ground’, wholly consonant with the traditional Anglican via media.  The Conservative via media is an enduring leitmotif: it emerges in Disraeli’s ‘One Nation Conservatism’, Macmillan’s 1938 book The Middle Way, and again (for example) in Butler’s 1946 pamphlet The Industrial Charter, which embraced Labour’s establishment of the NHS and nationalisation programme. The modern Conservative expressions of ‘Social Justice’ and ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ sit squarely in this historic mould.

Patriotism has been indispensible for the Conservative Party because it has the capacity to unite disparate groups and instil social cohesion: it is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that the Conservative Party – essentially the party of England – has traditionally identified with the objectives of the Church of England and the institution of Monarchy as a symbol of nationhood; as incarnations of the spiritual, political and historical entity of which the English are a part. As Margaret Thatcher observed:

The Tories began as a church party, concerned with the Church and State, in that order, before our concern extended to the economy, and many other fields which politics now touches. Religion gives us not only values – a scheme of things in which economic, social, penal policy have their place – but also our historical roots. For through the Old Testament our spiritual roots go back to the early days of civilisation and man’s search for God.

This is the mainstream spirituality that permeates the psyche of the nation. In past eras, the Conservative Party not only introduced income tax and welfare with appeals to Christian notions of justice; they legalised trade unions, opposed free trade and favoured legislation to govern the sale and conditions of labour through the Factory Acts. If these past policies heralded justice and compassion – as they did – it is difficult to understand why the Bishops and Clergy of the Established Church appear to be ideologically opposed even to the possibility that current Tory reforms might yield the same.

The Conservative Party has always had a strong tradition of social concern and action which is rooted in Protestant Christianity and fused with the Church of England. Some of the greatest movements for social reform have been led by Conservatives and their Whig and Tory forebears: Toryism has been as much a public theology as a political creed. ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ is the continuation of this tradition: it is based in part on the doctrine of original sin, which holds that man is sinful and likely to want something for nothing; man’s sinful nature leads to indolence. The modern expression is to do with concern for the poor in a context of capitalism.

Is this overarching theme not worth a little episcopal reflection? Are the repayment of the national debt, resolution of the budget deficit and the revolutions in education and welfare not worth a little serious theological consideration? Is the fall in unemployment not worth the odd tweet?

It is increasingly difficult, in an age dominated by ‘rights’ and an obsession with individual liberty, for any political party to assert the individual’s obligation to be ruled; to submit to a law-enforcing higher power. Yet it is only Tory individualism that the Bishops rail against. Modernity is concerned if not obsessed with individual freedom, but the obsession is to the detriment of a philosophy of human nature (political or moral) which articulates what that freedom is or why it matters. It is now pursued irrespective of the theological history and political culture which preceded it and helped to define it.

So modern politics takes on the meta-narrative of disjunctive micro-narratives: communitarianism transcends individualism as knowledge is created and accessed not by individuals but in community. David Cameron has been keen to exploit this development, conveniently providing him with an opportunity to address the frequently-misquoted adage that “there is no such thing as society”, for he profoundly believes that there is, and so did The Lady, if the Bishops could be bothered to read and understand the quotation in context.

The Conservative Party has been focusing on empowering communities because the sense of political community is intrinsic to people’s sense of the need for social community. This is part of his ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ agenda. And community is a fundamental human good because commitments and values are shared; the good life demands participation in a political community, and this requires communal participation in a political organisation of the widest scope, such as the nation state.

Just as society has moved beyond the 19th-century confines of the nation state, so the Conservative Party has loosened its formal association with the Church of England. It has been supplanted by informal links with representative bodies of all faiths and beliefs. This is consistent with the Anglican mission in a pluralist society: not to defend faiths, but to sustain the sacred canopy beneath which people of all faiths and none might be free to believe and express those beliefs in the public realm.

To be a Conservative is not to withdraw into national insularity or selfish individualism, but to reach out with a straightforward message of social salvation and political redemption. And that is not only to be found in the Gospel of St Marx.

  • Pinker

    Perhaps we conservatives should think about the way that we “reach out with a straightforward message of social salvation and political redemption”? You and I would certainly understand that, but the message of conservative compassion has been buried under the prevailing narrative of “the nasty party” that only looks after the rich.

    I believe that conservative policies are the best solution for all within the country, and that, at it’s best, looks very much like the sort of politics that the bishops discussed in their recent pastoral letter. (Which seemed to me to be very influenced by Philip Blond’s writings).

    How do we speak out that Christian message? How do we destroy the lie of Tory nastiness? Personally I was extremely disappointed that the Big Society disappeared from view so quickly – there was a good, Christian message from a conservative perspective. What a shame that Cameron et al didn’t have the courage to keep going with it in the face of sneers and jibes.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    A brilliant piece that shows how deluded by blatant socialism the CofE is. Marxist theology has been proven to be of no value yet they are persistently pursued by so called radical thinkers. The Disciples of Jesus were businessmen and just as well as they were able to support the Ministry of Jesus in material terms. He was well capable of providing miraculously but chose no to most of the time.

    You expound the virtues of Conservatism as an apologist historian and yes, it was all true. But does it apply today? I would say that conservatism today is as true to those ideals as Blair and New Labour were to traditional Labour, maybe worse.

    Contemporary political leaders lead their parties in the direction of their own peculiar concepts and ideas in order to appeal to the voters rather than traditional party ideals. Whatever will get them back into power.

    It has been my concern since the expenses scandal that what this country needs is not provided by any of the main parties. What is needed is a Party of Integrity who’s ideals are to uphold a Judeo/Christian society and to form an administration that performs it’s duty and it’s members behave with Integrity.

  • len

    The problem with any political system is that it is run by fallible human beings.
    There may be a perfect system but this system fails as soon as fallen man puts’ his spin’ on that system.
    That is why God does not deal with systems but goes straight to the heart of the matter and deals with the corruption which lies at the heart of man.That is why all systems set up by man can do and will fail…..

    • Anton

      And even the system set up by God, aka Mosaic Law.

  • Anton

    I am not worried that ministers never think well of the CoE. its job as the Established church is to speak truth unto power. The trouble is that it only seems to do so to one side of the polarisation that defines modern politics.

    • Watchman

      “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26

  • Darach Conneely

    I’m sure if we lived under communism, the exiled Church of England’s leaders would sound very conservative speaking out against the abuses of human rights. But the growing social injustice in this country is the result of the shift to the right of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and New Labour, leading to the deaths of the sick and disabled demonised by media and politicians and cut off benefit, with growing numbers of children going to school hungry.

    http://www.trusselltrust.org/holiday-hunger?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=Half%20Term%20Week
    “One in eight children don’t get enough to eat during the holidays
    with many returning to school noticeably thinner, according to teachers”

    • James60498 .

      How much of that is due to (a). Unemployed parents spending money on cigarettes, and other non-necessities instead of food? And (b) low paid parents where left wing government policies have forced both out to work leaving their children at home to fend for themselves?

      Certainly not all of it I agree, but a significant number I would suggest.

      And going back to the post how would wishing Cameron all the best for the election show their conservatism? It may show their support of the Conservative Party, but that is a very different matter.

      • Darach Conneely

        I seriously doubt the children teachers are worried about are the obese ones losing a bit of weight over the holidays, though obesity itself is linked poverty simply because the cheapest most filling foods are processed foods stuffed with fat and sugars but low on nutrition . But not all children on benefits are obese, and you don’t deal with the problem of obesity by averaging it out with thin children. Large numbers of parents are already skipping meals to feed their children, the fact that some people on benefits are addicted to tobacco has nothing to go with the country’s moral obligation to end the epidemic of hunger in the fifth richest nation on earth. If you want to deal with the problem of tobacco and its health problems it brings, deal with it as an addiction, not by as an excuse for cutting benefits to the poor, bringing even more long term health problems from malnourishment which we know from research will last for generations to come.

        • Anton

          “obesity itself is linked poverty simply because the cheapest most filling foods are processed foods stuffed with fat and sugars but low on nutrition”

          I don’t believe that. The cheapest foods are complex starchy carbohydrates like potatoes and rice (try buying it at a Pakistani supermarket for amazingly much less than in even the cheapest mainstream supermarket). Where my local Tesco stocks products containing a ghastly mix of fat and sugars and processed foods, these aren’t cheap – microwave ready meals, chocolate etc.

          • Darach Conneely

            People on benefits are often much more limited where they can shop for bargains. In most supermarkets I’ve seen, brown rice is twice the price of white, and while you can get brown versions of value white bread, they are not much better in terms of complex carbs, for that you would need to spend four times as much. Oven chips are cheaper than potatoes and are more satisfying and filling because of the added fat. But man does not live (not well anyway) on bread alone. The Irish subsisted on potatoes, but it wasn’t a healthy balanced diet. You need a variety of fruit, veg, dairy and protein. When people are hungry an don’t have the money they buy what is cheap and fills you up.

          • Anton

            Oven chips cheaper per calorie than potatoes at Aldi or Lidl? I haven’t verified that (and I suspect you haven’t either), but I must say I doubt it. Shall we check?

            The 19th century Irish really were poor, which is why they were thin. I would be interested to know what the income of families containing fat kids actually is, and how it is spent on food.

          • Linus

            I don’t know how it works in the UK, although it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that your retailers take a large margin on fresh produce considering the space it takes up in a store and the relatively high wastage factor. Fresh potatoes may well cost more than packs of oven chips when you take into account the cost of selling them rather than the price of the raw material itself.

            Here in France we buy our fresh produce not in supermarkets, but in open air markets where overheads are low and prices can therefore be kept to a minimum. Our twice weekly trips to the market cost my partner and I no more than 10-15€, depending on the season and the kinds of fruit and vegetable available. For this we feed ourselves well, although obviously fresh produce requires preparation, which requires a significant expenditure of time and energy rather than just slamming a tray of fries into the oven and zoning out in front of the television until they’re ready.

            Poverty isn’t just defined by the money you have or don’t have to spend on food. It’s also got a lot to do with your attitude to life and whether you can be bothered to make an effort to feed yourself properly. If you prefer to slam junk food down your throat and forget your troubles in a constant round of on-demand entertainment, then no matter how much you earn, you’re living in poverty. And where poverty lives, obesity soon makes itself at home.

          • Anton

            You are conflating material poverty and spiritual poverty. If you want to deal with the latter, take the Bible to heart.

    • Coniston

      If children don’t get enough to eat, that is indeed shocking, whatever the causes. But that they return to school ‘noticeably thinner’ is much more problematical. So many today, children and adults, are overweight. From my own schooldays, long ago, I cannot honestly recall any fat children; a few were tubby. Many parents (and teachers) today seem not to realise what the normal healthy weight and appearance of children should be.

      • Anton

        Today the poor contribute disproportionately to the obesity statistics. After thousands of years in which poor people lived in dread of starvation this should be a matter for rejoicing.

  • Watchman

    Perhaps if the leaders of the church spent more time reading their bibles rather than philosophy and newspapers they may be able to bring to bear that Gospel of Power, not of words. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God………… That Kingdom is not going to be found through the manipulation of man made systems but through the Power of the Blood of Jesus in men’s hearts. Preach the Gospel and bear witness to the Power of God rather than recommending which earthly system is likely to serve man’s agenda best.

  • carl jacobs

    Archbishop Cranmer

    Increasingly, Socialism (or at least a variant thereof) is becoming the dogma of the CoE. Bishops proselytize what they believe. Wait ten years. Wait until that new crop of women bishops yields its inevitable harvest. You’ll be asking why bishops hide their Creedal orthodoxy. No, that isn’t quite correct. You’ll be asking why bishops flaunt their Creedal apostasy.

    What is important is not that bishops are now Socialist. What is important is that in ten years a bishop will be celebrating the Winter solstice at Stonehenge

    • The Explorer

      They did call the last AoC The Druid.

      • Anton

        Because he looks like one, and because he allegedly fostered druidism by taking part in an Eisteddfod ceremony. Now, I am no fan of Rowan Williams but I looked into the latter claim and it is nonsense. The ceremony he was involved with did not involve any pagan worship nor ask him to make any vows improper for a Christian.

        • Watchman

          No, but it does sound as though if he were Elijah he would have formed a multi-faith committee with the prophets of Baal rather than challenging the power of their god.

        • The Explorer

          I don’t think the nickname was anything more profound than that he reminded them of Getafix.

          • Uncle Brian

            And he was Welsh.

          • Anton

            Was? He’s still alive!

          • The Explorer

            The tense relates to when he was AoC.

          • Anton

            I think you mean the pronoun relates to the AoC!

          • The Explorer

            No. He reminded them of a druid when he was AoC because he was Welsh. The AoCness trumps and Welshness and the being still aliveness.

    • Linus

      Good show! That’ll bring in the tourists. You’ll need the foreign exchange once you’re out of the EU.

      • Anton

        It is Greece that will benefit from tourist revenue once it is out of the Eurozone.

      • carl jacobs

        I’m not part of the EU so I can’t actually leave it.

  • fred m

    Marx said his purpose was the destruction of Judaism, by which I think he meant Judaeo-Christianity. Why can’t western Marxists see this antagonism, how many blown-up churches and monasteries, how many dead believers does it take? Why is it not common knowledge that the Communist Movement murdered at least 100 million in the last century? Why is the Marxist’s blatant desire for total control over humanity not obvious to them? Something about scales and eyes, I think. I believe they actually need deliverance ministry!

    • DanJ0

      Top marks for not blaming atheists for the deaths.

  • The Explorer

    From a socialist perspective, both versions of the Parable of the Talents are insufferable. In one, the servants receive different amounts; in the other they end with different amounts from a common baseline. And no mention of redistributive taxation.
    And what about these abominations? “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.” What happened to social progress? “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Hasn’t he heard about equality? “If a man does not work, neither shall he eat.” Fortunately, we have Marx to set St Paul straight. And the bishops. Just think what the New Testament would be without the appropriate tweaking.

    • Watchman

      I once heard an astonishing manipulation of the meaning of the parable of the labourers in the vineyard ( Matthew 20) by Len Murray, then General Secretary of the TUC. He used the parable to claim that it was an endorsement of socialism, that everyone should be paid the same whether they worked or not. He totally ignored verse 15 in which the husbandman asserted that he had a right do do what he wanted with his own money. It seems that the bishops also wish to ignore verse 15.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    The Church of England worships diversity. Affirming our Common Humanity, published by the House of Bishops in 2011, opens with ‘Christians should celebrate the diversity found in the human family’ and says it is ‘the Church’s calling to witness to and anticipate the unity of all peoples that will be found in Christ at the end of time’, and the Archbishop of Canterbury declared in 2013 that diversity is ‘a gift, not a threat’. The Church leans leftwards because it can count on the Left to ensure an uninterrupted supply of diversity’s life blood, Third World immigration.

    Of course, a country cannot be both diverse and a nation state. In paragraph 2 of Affirming our Common Humanity, the bishops write: ‘According to Scripture the existence of the different nations of the world is part of God’s providential ordering of human history… However, this biblical teaching does not support the notion of separate development involving the segregation of people belonging to different tribes, nations or religions.’ The Church chooses diversity over the nation state—hence its hysterical abhorrence of the party seeking to restore the nation state, the BNP.

    Given that the non-diverse nation state is the people’s best hope of stability and peace, why is the Church working for its destruction? Are the bishops naïve, foolish, cowardly (knowing they are wrong but afraid of being called racist), or evil?

    • Linus

      If the bishops worship diversity, what do you worship?

      Stability? Peace?

      What exactly do those terms mean? A society where your needs are serviced over and above everyone else’s, perhaps?

      I wonder, even if your BNP somehow manages to come to power, how exactly are they going to suppress all of this diversity you hate so much? Mass deportation? And how’s that going to work? A police state that tracks down hundreds of thousands, if not millions of “undesirables”, imprisons them somewhere (where, exactly?) until it can ship them out of the country? Where to, I wonder? How much will it cost? How long will it take? Do you think there’ll be no opposition?

      And what about all the “diversity” that was born in the UK? What do you plan on doing with that? Re-education camps, maybe? Or do you have more radical solutions in mind?

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ Linus—Diversity will render the indigenous British a minority by around 2070. As you are anxious for diversification to continue, I gather you regard the dispossession of the British as a cause for celebration. Good day to you.

        • Linus

          Who did the British dispossess when they took the land you now call Britain?

          How many others were dispossessed by them when they started their campaign of imperial expansion?

          What goes around comes around. You were born in an age where you get to witness the decline of the certainties your ancestors lived by. Nobody knows what’s coming, but history shows us that it can’t be a return to the past.

          • Anton

            As a matter of history, the Britons were the inhabitants of Britain’s island when the Romans came. They were pushed west into Wales and Cornwall (consequently known for a long time as “south Wales”) by the invading pagan Angles and Saxons (and a few Jutes). By then the Britons had taken up Christianity and renounced the paganism of which the druids were their priestly class. The legend of King Arthur grew around a Briton chieftain who was Christian and who defended against the pagan AngloSaxons. These invaders then took up Christianity, partly from the a mission sent from Rome that landed in Kent in 597AD, and partly from the locals (the wife of a Kentish king was already a Christian when this mission came).

            In fact I very much doubt that the Christian Britons were all either slaughtered where they stood or fled to what is now Wales and Cornwall. (NB Some crossed La Manche and gave their name to what is now Brittany/Breton.) What died out in England when the Angles and Saxons came was Britonic culture. Likewise the British Empire dispossessed almost nobody; it simply altered the culture. Whether for better or worse is a matter of debate. Lawrence James’ History of the British Empire is neither triumphalist like Victorian historians of the empire, nor unrelievedly negative like 1960s anticolonialist historians (and perhaps yourself, Linus). James writes out of the tension between an empire maintained by threat of violence, and the good it did in ending centuries of Hindu-Muslim bloodshed in India, the practice of suttee, etc. This book ends with a quote from Nelson Mandela lauding the British empire.

            History is indeed complex, as you suggest in your last sentence.

          • Linus

            The British Empire dispossessed almost nobody?

            Tell that to the Native Americans, the Australian Aborigines, the New Zealand Maoris … the list goes on and on.

            The British weren’t the only culprits, of course. We French dispossessed our fair share of peoples. The Spanish and the Portuguese even more. History is one long recitation of displacement and conquest. We are where we are today because of where we’ve come from. And we’re going where we’re going for the same reason.

            “May you live in interesting times” is supposed to be a Chinese insult. We do live in interesting times. And no amount of BNP, or Ukip, or National Front wishful thinking about turning the clock back to the calm and boring past will change that.

          • The Explorer

            The diversity created by the arrival of the British Empire destroyed the indigenous Native American, Aboriginal and Maori societies. Diversity was not a blessing for those cultures. They didn’t say it was. Isn’t that the point Johnny R was making: that the AoC was wrong to say diversity is a blessing for the host culture. Wasn’t that JR’s point, rather than that taking over somewhere else is good because the British did it?

          • Anton

            In the main they weren’t dispossessed in the sense of being kicked off the land. (The reservation system in most of the USA was after independence.) What they lost was political self-determination.

          • Linus

            Tell that to the New Zealand Maoris, who most certainly were dispossessed of almost all of their land. The Australian Aborigines too. They were pushed into the dry interior and dispossessed of almost all the coastal regions where British settlers wanted to live. Native Americans in Canada suffered a similar fate. Settlers came and took what they wanted and left them with the dregs.

            Of course in Canada, French settlers were just as responsible for that dispossession as British settlers. They also dispossessed the native peoples of the Mahgreb, but unlike the strategy of the British Empire, which favored a mass emigration that swamped the native peoples and turned them into minorities in their own countries, French colonialism was largely economic rather than demographic. That’s why we were booted out of Algeria: there was no French majority to claim squatter’s rights.

            Whichever way you look at it, the British Empire dispossessed a lot of people. We French just asset stripped them while the going was good and then got out when we could no longer get away with it any more. Neither model is anything to be proud of, nor perhaps should we be ashamed either. What happened, happened and we can’t change the past. But we are where we are today because of that past.

            Diversity didn’t just happen. It’s a direct result of imperial expansion. Britain was great in the past, but it hasn’t finished paying the price for that greatness yet. Neither has France.

          • Anton

            America – pushed the Indians into reservations after 1776, nothing to do with us. Maoris almost succeeded in wiping themselves out using imported muskets to escalate their tribal wars. Australia – check your claims against the exhaustive scholarly work The Fabrication of Aboriginal History by Keith Windschuttle. I repeat, what most peoples lost under the British Empire was not access to land but political self-determination.

          • carl jacobs

            Anton

            Can you suggest any way that European civilization could have co-existed with the indigenous population of the North American continent?

            Only one thing could have saved the Indians. If the Europeans had returned to Europe and forgotten the continent existed, then the Indians could have gone back to establishing their borders by killing and displacing each other. But that was not going to happen. Europe needed a place to put its excess population. A continent that rich was not going to remain in the hands of two million hunter-gatherers. As far as Europe was concerned, there was no sovereign exercising dominion, so the European kings took the land. Do you wish they had not?

            So how would you have integrated Western concepts of Law and Order with the culture of the Indian? If you think you have a better answer, I would love to hear it. It’s one thing to look back on the Indians as a convenient foil with which to sniff at the US. It was a other thing to live next to them. They weren’t noble savages. They were just savage. Your opinion of the Lakota would be quite different if you lived in Minnesota in 1850.

          • Anton

            Actually, Carl, I wasn’t sniffing at the US. I was simply restricting my debate with Linus to Britain vs France. Likewise I deliberately wasn’t saying anything about the morality of the American Indians or Australian Aborigines. What I will say about them, now, is that human nature is universally fallen.

          • carl jacobs

            Fair enough.

          • CliveM

            The British one way or another wiped out a lot of indigenous populations. Sometimes it was deliberate, sometimes accidental ( through decease).

          • Anton

            Please name an entire people whom the British wiped out by force of arms including non-combatant women and children.

          • CliveM

            Amended to better reflect what I meant.

          • Anton

            Understood (but might you also amend “decease” to “disease”?)

          • CliveM

            Done !!

          • Old Nick

            And remove the split infinitive

          • Linus

            Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840s.

            Even at the height of the famine, Ireland produced enough food to feed its population. In earlier famines the British government had acted to close the Irish ports and prevent export of Irish food so that producers would be forced to sell at home and feed the populations. This did not happen in the 1840s due to lobbying by landlords eager to maximize the prices they received for their produce by selling it in England. So the Irish were left to starve.

            At least two prominent American legal scholars have issued formal opinions to the US authorities that the British government’s actions at this time constituted an act of genocide.

          • Anton

            It was a disgraceful episode in Britain’s history. But it was based on callous indifference rather than intent to exterminate and, of course, it does not qualify as a response to my very specific request for the name of “an entire people whom the British wiped out by force of arms including non-combatant women and children”. Plenty of Irish people survived it and their descendants live there today.

          • Linus

            The Nazis didn’t wipe out the entire Jewish people, but their act was no less a genocide for that.

          • Anton

            Indeed. But you introduced the word genocide and it involves deliberate intent whereas the failure to relieve the Irish famine was due to callous indifference.

          • CliveM

            During 1847 the British Govt set up food kitchens and fed 3m of the population. A major logistical feat. Unfortunately dogma then got in the way and they were discontinued.

            It was dogma and greed, not genocide.

          • CliveM

            It was more about class and wealth then race. The people who were dying were poor, the people who were rich didn’t care.

            There were exceptions of course.

          • Old Nick

            We also introduced cures for such diseases as malaria and bilharzia.

          • Linus

            Windschuttle’s work is about as controversial as I would expect from a Ukip supporter. Next you’ll be quoting Gagnon at me. If that’s where you get your “facts” from, you’ll never want for moonshine.

            Whatever your conscience needs to salve it, be it historical apologetics by guilt-ridden post-colonials trying to justify the cushy situation their ancestors’ misdeeds bought them, or divine forgiveness from a make-believe god who conveniently pardons you for everything you ever do wrong, it’s all fine by me. As long as we all realize exactly what’s going on.

          • The French Empire, of course, was the epitome of love and justice, which is why the Haitians, Vietnamese and Algerians loved them so much.

          • Linus

            The misdeeds of the French were bad enough, but at least in the case of Vietnam and Algeria we didn’t encourage mass migration that turned the people of these countries into minorities on their own soil.

            Haiti is a different story of course, and bound up with the slave trade, in which Britain played just as shameful a role as France.

            Neither of our countries should be proud of their colonial past. Both continue to pay the price for it. This is our parents’ and grandparents’ legacy to us. It can’t be disowned and swept under the carpet because we no longer find large numbers of immigrants in our midst convenient.

          • Old Nick

            Tell that to the pieds-noirs. Only last week I was reading an Edwardian guide-book to Algeria. The numbers given for the populations of towns suggested significant numbers of Europeans (presumably mostly French).

          • Linus

            The pieds-noirs never formed a majority in Algeria. Far from it. They were like the white minority in South Africa, running everything for their own benefit and to the detriment of the interests of the native Algerians. Many of them weren’t even ethnically French: there were many Spanish immigrants who had fled the successive civil wars in Spain, as well as many Italians and Maltese who were looking to improve their standard of living. The largest contingent of actual French citizens came from Alsace-Lorraine, from whence they had fled following the German occupation of 1870.

            All the pieds-noirs, along with many Jews and some Arabs who had been loyal to France, were forced to leave Algeria during the war of independence precisely because they didn’t form a majority and could not impose their will on the native Algerians. That could never have happened in Canada, or Australia, where the colonial population vastly outnumbered the natives. British colonial policy favored mass emigration and saw the colonies as a way of clearing the slums of Britain. And the poor and disadvantaged seized their chance to flee.

            Having spent some time in the UK myself, I can vouch for the awfulness of life there even when one is lucky enough to be living in some material comfort. To be stuck there and be poor at the same time must have been truly terrible. You can understand why they were willing to up sticks and undertake what for us would be the equivalent of a one-way trip to Mars. When you’re desperate you’ll take any risk to escape.

            Of course there were slums in France too at that period. It can’t have been easy being poor and living in some of the coupe-gorges of Paris. Some French citizens did emigrate. But never on the same scale as the British. On the whole we didn’t use our colonies as dumping grounds for the poor and undesirable sections of our population. That was a specifically British game.

          • CliveM

            Quebec, Louisiana to name but 2 French colonies where the locals have been a bit swamped.

          • Linus

            Both small settlements under French rule that were developed into white majority colonies under the British and the Americans.

            I will certainly admit that Québec in particular probably would have been settled as a white majority colony had the French kept it. But we didn’t. So what happened is not our fault.

          • CliveM

            Different colonies developed depending on local conditions. North America was relatively empty so all the Imperial powers established colonies and encouraged emigration.

            The only reason why North America doesn’t speak French as opposed to English is because France lost some key wars. That isn’t a dig.

            In India or North Africa, different local conditions, Britain and France contented themselves with asset stripping.

            Depending on the local opportunities we behaved in similar ways.

            Am I ashamed of the British Empire? Not really, it was the game all the European powers played, we just happened to be good at it.

            Do I think we did shameful things? Yes.

            However we are where we are. The impact of our history on the present day is the high levels of immigration. This has already happened, we have to find a realistic way of dealing with.

          • Anton

            Unless you have actually read Windschuttle, you are in no position to judge. Of course his opponents are going to do their utmost to discredit him, but they have no arguments by which to falsify his work because he works from original sources as a generation of leftist historians failed to. They have only ad hominem arguments or, to put it more plainly, personal insults.

          • Linus

            The only ad hominem insults here are coming from you. Your shrill accusations against “leftist historians” are a typical symptom of a right-wing paranoid fantasy delusion.

            I guess that’s what happens when you paint an already brittle psychological state into a corner. It starts raving about leftist plots and personal insults.

            I’ll leave you to shriek. In space, nobody can hear you scream…

          • Anton

            I am making a generalisation about Windschuttle’s opponents but it is based on fact, as follows. Windschuttle works from original sources, and his opponents who have written the falsehoods that he documents cannot lay a finger on him. You can read them and Windschuttle in their own words if you wish. I wouldn’t expect them to go quietly but, in the courtroom of truth, go they must. I am familiar with these arguments because I have lived in Australia and became interested in its history.

          • The Explorer

            Two measured sentences about left-wing historians. I don’t call that raving. Or shrieking. What’s your instrument for registering the increase in decibels?
            I haven’t read Windschuttle, but Theodore Dalrymple (an atheist) has a interesting essay on him: ‘Why Intellectuals like Genocide’. Dalrymple’s thesis, if you are unacquainted with it, is a bit like the fly- in-soup argument: once one person’s got one, everybody wants one. You can’t call yourself civilised unless you’ve got a good genocide somewhere in your history. Road rage is a very similar phenomenon: those hitherto without it hate to feel they’re missing out on something.

          • CliveM

            Hard as it is to say it, you make good points! Our immigrants to a large extent reflect our respective empires. Also to a large extent we created the diversity that we now complain about. Also considering the numbers already here, diversity is something we will just get use to. Sending back just won’t happen.
            UKIP isn’t racist ( and I won’t be voting for them) but it is the party of the 1950’s. When for many of its supporters the world seemed simpler (or at least so it now seems in retrospect). But hankering after it is a waste of time. We have to make the immigration work. There aren’t any longer practical alternatives.

          • Anton

            We can”t boot large numbers of immigrants who have citizenship out. But we can stop more coming in, and we can rescind citizenship from some who misbehave badly enough and have dual nationality. That’s what UKIP would do, and it is why it is the party of the 2010s not the 1950s. The problem is the EU, not Europe.

          • CliveM

            Yes personally it would be good to get rid of these trouble makers, but the numbers would be marginal. Yes immigration needs to be better controlled. But my point is that millions are here already. Diversity is here to stay.
            You say the problem is the EU. Personally I don’t see what the EU has to do with the Asians, Africans, Pakistanis, Indians and Carribeans who make up the majority of our immigration.
            It is with immigrants with these background where we get the diversity issues.

          • Anton

            All but Muslims are happy, regardless of race, to live under British parliamentary democracy; the stability and affluence that our constitution has has developed alongside is why they or their parents came here. How to handle Islam is a vital issue and it has been discussed under other threads. But no party other than UKIP is serious about not making the problem any worse, and that is reason to support it; UKIP uniquely will prevent mass immigration of people from other cultures. As for Europe, it is barmy that people from poorer Eastern European countries work here while an army of Brits sits on the dole, but this cannot be stopped without quitting the EU. So let’s. And that means UKIP too; nobody else. There is no point bemoaning the past; the aim is learn from it and make the future as best as possible.

          • CliveM

            You say the problems are the Muslims, but I ask in what way are they the EU’s fault?

            I have no problems with hard working Poles, doing my plumbing (to use a cliche). Frankly if you look at who the majority of the long term unemployed are, Polish plumbers aren’t the problem. They are unemployable and if I was an employer, I would prefer to do without if they were the only option.

          • Anton

            The Muslims are not the EU’s fault. We seem to be talking past each other. I am not trying to pin responsibility in this exchange, but to suggest which party has the best policies at this moment. UKIP would at least prevent more Muslims entering, which I seriously doubt of the other parties. As for the other issue you raise, most of our longterm unemployed would find themselves perfectly capable of hard work if the alternative were starvation; which, come the next financial crash, it might well be – which is why it might be a blessing in disguise. But it will be harder for them if the country is awash with Eastern European competition.

          • Phil R

            Have you tried employing long term unemployed?

            Far more trouble than the worth of it.

          • Anton

            That’s because they are not motivated enough. Motivation can be done by stick, carrot or a combination. At present they get their carrots elsewhere.

          • Phil R

            I am sure that may be true up to a point.

            The best workers are the ones that want to work. The UE might work in your scenario but they would be spoiling the working environment for others, even if they were “doing the job”

            Anton, the theory sound great. However, the reality is often someone who cannot get up in the morning, is (usually very) overweight, has been told that they have (a very long list here) medical problems and sometimes other issues that you are obliged to “consider”.

            If they would work for free I would still say no in most cases

          • Anton

            I believe you are thinking shortterm. After a few months of financially forced labour, their attitudes will begin to change. It will actually be painful for them, but to suppose otherwise is to write them off forever, and I am not willing to do that.

          • Phil R

            I am not prepared to be the one that makes up for all of societies shortcomings by putting my business at risk by employing people with often no people skills.

            You are talking 100% supervision and this is expensive.

            With a very strong Foreman you might get certain jobs done efficiently and to a reasonable standard.

            Strong Foremen are rare. Very

          • Phil R

            You had better build your gulags because I am not risking taking them on

          • The Explorer

            The French when they fled across the water to what is now Brittany?

          • Linus

            There was a long-established Celtic culture in Brittany long before the Anglo-Saxons forced Brythonic refugees across La Manche. They spoke similar languages and the two peoples merged pretty seamlessly into what developed into the Breton culture.

            Brittany was largely independent until the early 16th century, when it was absorbed into France following the marriage of the last sovereign duchess to the king of France. Since then the Bretons have been considered French, but their culture and history are distinct from ours in much the same way that the Welsh are now considered British, but their culture and history are distinct from English history and culture.

            The French did not “flee across the water”. Some Brythonic refugees did, who then became Breton, who then took on a French identity because of a later integration with a neighboring and more powerful nation.

          • The Explorer

            My reply was a response to your opening question. Since comments get separated from one another, I’ve edited it to make clear I was talking about the British fleeing, not the French Yes, reassuring to think that in that big Gallic landmass there’s one little outpost of civilisation. (Or was, until it became Gallicised.) Ever seen the waxworks in Langeais about the sad event?

          • Linus

            Ask a Breton how British he feels and I doubt you’ll get a reassuring answer.

            Civilization is something that was brought to the primitive tribes of your offshore islands in successive waves from the Continent. Rome, the Frankish kingdom, even the Vikings all left their imprint on you.

            What sort of influence have you ever had on us? Even burgers and fries have their origins in European dishes.

          • The Explorer

            A Breton isn’t British. I agree: the bloody Frogs have Frenchified them. There’s an outpost of the Frog navy at Brest. They produce Muscadet near Nantes. I fear the situation is now beyond redemption.

    • dannybhoy

      Good stuff Mr Rottenborough.
      Socialism and communism can work if the members of that society or community are willingly signed up to it.
      Otherwise a combination of (mainly) sticks and carrots are required. One only has to look at Soviet Russia and Soviet China who relied on state police using sheer terror and an informer system to motivate ‘the glorious workers…’
      Capitalism has its failings too, but it is honest in its harnessing of human self interest to make the thing work far better than any State with a command economy ever could.

  • Charles Cottam

    Truly I dont know why so many bishops are tired old lefties. But I do know that their attitudes are destroying the church and preventing spiritual revival. The terms of revival have never changed. ” Do it my way.” to paraphrase the Almighty. He also says ” “Salvation comes from the Jews into whom I have grafted you. My public displays of power can be yours because of that ingrafting”. But we say. ” Thanks. We will have the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit but we reject the channel through which you give them. ” Result? the church’s impotence and frustration!
    Solution? Stop worrying that the cause of Israel and the prophets is deemed to be a right wing one that offends liberal- left establishment sensitivities ( what do they know compared with the Wisdom Of God?) and watch what happens when we fall in to line with God’s declared plan.. Exciting or what?

  • Inspector General

    The human being is a damn lazy animal. For what seems an astonishing number, there’s nothing he likes better than doing nothing at all, and putting very little effort into it, at that.

    The human’s sense of entitlement is awesome. He expects so much, and now, this minute. He doesn’t much care where it comes from, or who has to do it, make it, find it, grow it. It belongs to the human almost by divine right. And the more you give him, the more he wants.

    He is at his best though, when it comes to being a discerning parasite. He has a bountiful source of enrichment to go to – The State. And he has political parties queuing up for his vote. He has a choice of flavour. He can opt for Left, Liberal Left or Left of Centre. Each one of these parties will promise him his children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance here, right now. This minute.

    But today there is hope. We can break the mould and go back to when we were doing it properly. It means taking a chance and voting for UKIP. Or you can vote left (again)….

    • Anton

      To break the particular mould of which you speak the system needs to be taxpayer-only voting system.

      • Inspector General

        Indeed.

  • Anton

    I hope that His Grace enjoyed last night’s comments in “Wolf Hall” about the dissolution of the monasteries, over which he presided as Archbishop of Canterbury, as much as I did.

  • Inspector General

    By the way chaps, an update on the Inspector’s missionary work on Pink News.

    It’s been hard going, and one admits his reception has been ‘mixed’ (Yes, mixed would be the word {Ahem!}

    But we battle through to lead the fruit of Sodom away from the Pink Inferno
    and into the light

    “Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war…”

    Anyone got a spare tambourine. I’d like to see them try and sodomise one of
    those…

    • The Explorer

      What’s become of Andre? And whatever his initials are North? I suppose we’d need another thread about SSM to see him back on this site.

      • Inspector General

        Good day to you Explorer

        North is emptying a Thompson on your Inspector as he types.

        Andre is such a shy thing. A Tiny Tim, if you remember him…

        • The Explorer

          Do you know, I thought of Tiny Tim when I saw the picture. ‘Tiptoe through the Tulips’. And Missy somebody whom he was going to marry and who, extraordinarily enough, actually seemed to be a woman.

          • Inspector General

            Must read up about him tomorrow. He shuffled off his mortal only relatively lately…

          • The Explorer

            I remember a wonderful Giles cartoon about Tiny Tim. A retired colonel sitting on a deck chair with a shot gun across his knees. Daughter behind him saying to friend, “When he heard Tiny Tim was coming, that was it.” (Isle of WIght Festival).

        • The Explorer

          I suppose there are worse things North could be emptying on you.

          • Inspector General

            He’s a Consultant in cardiology, believe it or not…

          • The Explorer

            Very relieved he’s not my consultant.

          • Inspector General

            Don’t be so sure. Years ago he admitted North is not his name in the world…

          • The Explorer

            Ah.

          • James60498 .

            Wasn’t that the one who physically threatened me on these pages? Perhaps I should have been more worried.

          • Inspector General

            That will be him. He’s a very aggrieved individual. Anger issues, that kind of thing…

          • Inspector General

            DTNorth Inspector General • a day ago

            P!ss back off to your Archpishop Cranmuck site.
            Why do you seek out gay websites?
            Does your Christian brainwashing compel you to harass those not like you or is there something in the closet you cannot admit.
            ———–
            Inspector General DTNorth • a day ago

            One feels compelled to do Christian missionary work here.
            Mr North, I am your friend….
            ————
            DTNorth Inspector General • 8 hours ago

            Well I most definitely am NOT yours.

          • James60498 .

            Lovely chap obviously.

          • DanJ0

            How rooode!

        • Poor Andre is infatuated with you, Inspector. Only last night he declared his unbounding affection after he thought you rejected him. Jack has clarified that whilst fond of cats, he is not at this time the keeper of one.

  • CliveM

    I think what the Bishops suffer from in the Church of England is a severe case of a Group Think. It’s not healthy. Someone needs to challenge the smug unity in its soft left politics.

    It may not change the politics of the CofE, but it might at least goad them into producing something worthwhile.

  • IanCad

    An awful lot of work must have gone into this post YG. One of your very best.
    Concise and informative, it should be essential reading for any who want to know why this country is what it is.
    Certainly nothing new with religious leaders pandering to the Marxists. Remember Hewlett Johnson – Dean of Canterbury – awarded the Stalin International Peace Prize; There’s an oxymoron for you!
    What is so astounding to me, having been raised in a Marxist home, is their sheer arrogance. They are quite comfortable with Jesus, who, broadly speaking, FOLLOWS the teachings of the big bad Karl.

  • James Lovelace

    In the early 1970s a classic (non-muslim) collection of scholarly articles on islam was re-published. The first edition was published in the 1930s.

    There was one addition to this 1970s edition. The leading article expressed serious concern at how the Left and the Clergy were lying about the violent, subjugating nature of islam.

    The scholars tried to warn us.

  • At least we can turf the politicians out in May.
    Too bad we can’t do the same thing with the Bishops.

    • James60498 .

      But if we do turf the current lot of politicians out in May they will only be replaced by someone very similar. Maybe slightly better or slightly worse depending upon your precise views, but no real difference.

      Would it not be the same with the bishops?

      • James,
        You are almost certainly right. My personal recommendation is that evangelicals should come out of the Church of England altogether [the clue is in the name: Mar-Prelate. Geddit?]
        However, since some folks seem determined to go down with the sinking ship, it would be good if they could throw out some of the rascals masquerading as shepherds of the Lord’s flock at the present time.
        .
        As Voltaire observed in an entirely different context, “It is good to shoot an admiral every now and then, pour encourager les autres.

  • steroflex

    Just before I left the CofE in the late 1980s, I had problems with our headmaster (I was a school chaplain). I contacted my bishop (Church School), then all the suffragans, then the bishop in charge of the school – five in all. One deigned to see me and he dismissed me as a man with a problem he could not solve.
    Six months later, the drunk, paedophile Headmaster was sacked.
    That was then and this now. Things have changed a lot for the better, I am quite sure.

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  • Interestingly, the strongly socially conservative John Wesley spent most of his time ministering to the poor, and he helped them not with a social equaility/abolish poverty/rights of man message, but with the gospel of personal salvation from sin according to the Scriptures.

    May I courteously suggest that Christ’s church should never look to the philsophies of men for inspiration, be they from the secular right or the secular left, but only to the glad tidings of the Saviour crucified for sinners (Colossians 2:8).

    There would have been no 19th century social reform without the groundwork of the vigorous Gospel preaching of the 18th century evangelicals.