The debates are done: the hour is come. EU Referendum Day 2016 is here. Like the Church of England, this blog is impeccably neutral on the matter: it is simply not the task of cyber-ministers to instruct the people in how they should vote. You are simply exhorted to participate in this generational exercise in the sovereignty of the people – for it may be the last – and to use that vote wisely, after reflecting on those values which are undeniably Christian and may also be considered British, such as freedom, justice, the importance of the family, love of country, and of the need good and righteous government.
Vote Leave, and the first 100 days of freedom will lead to a decade of opportunity, then to a century of security, stability and prosperity, and then to centuries of liberty and democracy overflowing with milk and honey. And if you don’t like milk and honey, you can get rid of it and replace it with a bed of roses, a field of clover or a velvet cushion. Your choice: you’ll be in control.
Vote Remain, however, and the next hundred days will be the same the past decade of locust-plagued despair and moth-eaten destruction. And a decade hence we will be in a much enlarged European Union – to the tune of about 88 million – with no secure borders, no stable economy, a diminished vote in the European Commission and Parliament, and prosperity on par with Antarctica. And a decade after that we will be in a United States of Europe – a supranational superstate – not only with its own flag, anthem and passport, but with a Commission-Government, President-Commander-in-Chief, and a CFSP-Army, for what use is a Common Foreign and Security Policy without the military might to back it up? And what use is a president with no presidential powers? Don’t think you’ll get to vote for him/her, by the way: it will be an appointed president, agreed by the elite hegemony, each of whom, in their ever-concentric circulation, will aspire to the ultimate executive office, with treaty power, appointments power, legislative power, and the right to drive around the capital cities of the world in a black limo bathed in flashing blue lights. Your task will merely be to pay for it.
We have heard much about war and rumours of war. The Archbishop of Canterbury prefaced his neutral appeal for people to vote Remain with a journey to the horrors of the Somme; and the Prime Minister, invoking the spectre of St Winston of Blenheim, warned of a Europe of genocide and armed conflict: “The serried rows of white headstones in Commonwealth war cemeteries stand as silent testament to the price this country has paid to help restore peace and order in Europe.”
Indeed they do, which is why we must vote Leave, for only by doing so may we restore civil peace and the democratic order. Vote Remain, and the riots and protests of the oppressed Greeks, antagonised Spaniards, disaffected Italians and discontented Austrians will descend into national strife, if not civil war. There is only so much a proud people can endure of hardship and alienation. There is only so much they will bear of feeling strangers in their home countries, disdained by their political leaders, deprived of all democratic remedy.
This Referendum is not only about Christian values, but about national identity. Are we really so feeble that our aspiration to wholeness may be apprehended only in the anti-democratic space? Are we really so fooled that our language of community may only be expressed in terms of political union? Are we really so blind that our morality may only be conceived in the secular Enlightenment conception of man, with his inviolable rights and perfect moral standards? Today is a watershed: Remain, and we perpetuate the self-congratulatory illusion of the abolition of nationalism and the death of God; Leave, and we move beyond myopic Euro-nationalism, spreading our vision upward, downward and outward into the world. There will be upheaval, but nothing that a new mode of thought and sensibility to new nations cannot withstand. Some say this is retrospective illusion: it is, rather, the true globalism of the catholic Christian.
If the Christian ends of peace and reconciliation are to be realised in and by the United Kingdom, our moral outlook must change. The Enlightenment European Union is not the Promised Land, for EUtopia erodes the cosmic order, denies self-determination, keeps the poor in famine and inflicts suffering on its own people. If we seek universal benevolence and justice, they are not found in haughty declarations of subjective rights of immunities and benefits, but in an apprehension of divine dignity; of man created in the image of God for a life of grace, love and service. This is not monkish ignorance or superstition: it is, whether we believe it or not, the truth. You may demand tyrannical impositions of trans-national equality, but God’s blessings flow only from humility; security comes only from self-government; and peace comes only from Christ, with whom believers are exhorted to walk in spirit and truth.
This isn’t a game of point scoring: it is about the moral culture of our civilisation. There is a prideful illusion of a Godless European Empire with its unaccountable omnipotence and infallible dreams of universal justice, equality and rights; or there is the subtler language of the nation under God, within which the unrighteous may be removed and the immoral corrected, rebuked, reformed and restored. You may not agree with this ‘parochial’ view of human nature in the created order, believing instead that political man is moving toward the zenith of moral perfection and that justice is about to flow like a river. But when empires impose their laws and enforce their creeds by natural authority and the people do not obey except out of cynicism, the only solution is the restoration of the true political authority which chimes with the mores and traditions of the people.
So, forget the finger-jabbing niggles of elite establishment politicians sanctified by ecclesial negativity: there is nothing to fear in leaving the European Union. On the contrary, there is hope in liberty; morality in democracy; and prosperity in the restoration of a global outlook. Today is about national self-belief and self-determination. It is about taking back control of our national destiny. Today we vote for freedom. Let today be and hereafter forever be known as UK Independence Day.