Gavin Ashenden on Rod Liddle on ++Justin Welby, Archbishop of Cant… er… Canterbury

 

 

Bishop Gavin Ashenden, a former Queen’s Chaplain who resigned from the Church of England in 2017 to be able to more freely defend Christian orthodoxy and Western civilization – both primary concerns of The Anglophilic Anglican – posted this on his Facebook page, commenting:

The C of E is in serious trouble when The Sunday Times call out “The Archbishop of Cant.”

Rod Liddle on Justin Welby: “There is a touch of the Frank Spencer about Welby, the ++ of Cant; he looks really,really stupid, as well as hypocritical. He is his own satire.”

Tragic & true.

The quote is part of a longer passage of Liddle’s which is worth quoting more fully, in my opinion:

“And so Justin [Welby, the present Archbishop of Canterbury] looks really, really stupid, as well as hypocritical. He is his own satire. But his ineptitude is not the main problem. Nor are his views on taxation and employment, many of which I agree with. It is that the [Church of England] has shelved God and replaced Him with the vapid narrative and fraudulent virtue-signalling of the liberal elite. And we can get all that stuff elsewhere, thank you.

Hear, hear!

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The Anglican Beer Club| theoldjamestownchurch blog

Source: The Anglican Beer Club | theoldjamestownchurch blog

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
Wherever I travel I find it so,
Benedicamus Domino!

— Hilaire Belloc

While I was in Nashville, Tennessee, studying at Vanderbilt Divinity School for my Master of Theological Studies, I attended a very traditional, Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Church in, somewhat paradoxically, a very spare and somewhat modernist building. Its Rector commented at one point that Anglicans value the gifts of God in Creation, and in particular, “like a glass of good port, a pipe of good tobacco, and a good steak!”

I think he would have been much in accord with the thoughts of Belloc, noted above, and also the author of theoldjamestownchurch blog entry linked above, who happens to be a (Facebook) friend of mine, as well as a fellow-priest, albeit of a different traditional Anglican jurisdiction.

I grew up in a teetotaling Methodist household (to the point that I used to tease my devoutly Methodist mother about Christ “turning the water into Welsh’s grape juice” in the Wedding at Cana), so it was something of a relief to find myself in a Church which does not frown upon imbibing, intrinsically, so long as one does so in moderation.

The fact is, Anglicans are not Puritans, nor should we mimic Puritanism. We celebrate the good gifts God has given us in His good Creation, beer, wine, and spirits included – celebrate them, not misuse or abuse them. As C.S. Lewis put it,

“Temperance is, unfortunately, one of those words that has changed its meaning. It now usually means teetotalism. But in the days when the second Cardinal virtue was christened ‘Temperance’, it meant nothing of the sort. Temperance referred not specially to drink, but to all pleasures; and it meant not abstaining, but going the right length and no further. It is a mistake to think that Christians ought all to be teetotallers; Mohammedanism, not Christianity, is the teetotal religion.

“Of course it may be the duty of a particular Christian, or of any Christian, at a particular time, to abstain from strong drink, either because he is the sort of man who cannot drink at all without drinking too much, or because he wants to give the money to the poor, or because he is with people who are inclined to drunkenness and must not encourage them by drinking himself. But the whole point is that he is abstaining, for a good reason, from something which he does not condemn and which he likes to see other people enjoying.

“One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting everyone else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons — marriage or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning…”

Those of us who are clerics, in particular, should strive to set a good example for our flock; and needless to say, if we become intoxicated to the point that we become indiscreet or lose control of our faculties, that is not setting a good example. But conviviality and good cheer are a different matter, as this blog post explains:

“The teaching of Holy Scripture on the question of alcohol consumption is pretty easy to understand. On the one hand, habitual drunkenness is condemned, but alcohol: 1) consumed in small amounts for health reasons; and 2) consumed in larger and sometimes mildly to moderately intoxicating amounts on celebratory occasions is considered a gift of God. See Prov. 20:1; Psalm 104:15; the [Wedding at Cana linked] above, I Tim. 5:23 and Eph. 5:18 for representative texts from the Old and New Testaments.”

When it comes to Anglicans – a branch of the Church Catholic, whether our neo-Calvinist party, on the one hand, or our Roman and Orthodox brethren, on the other, agree or not – our history is one in which conviviality figures largely. Both in England and America, Anglicans have not been afraid to enjoy the fruit of the vine or the barley-field, a pipe of Old Dominion leaf, or a well-laden groaning board (*).

In any case, the point is to enjoy such pleasures responsibly, in moderation: to exercise temperance, that is, in the old fashion. Some may not be able to manage this, and so, of course, should abstain entirely (no less a personage than the famous General Robert E. Lee, a model of self-discipline, temperance, and sobriety if ever there was one, once commented that “I like whiskey. I always did, and that is why I never drink it”).

But if one understands oneself and one’s limitations, and honours them appropriately, there is no intrinsic reason to deny oneself the good gifts of God’s good Creation, be one clergy or lay. And as the linked blog post points out, it may even be an opportunity for evangelism:

“I know for a fact that when we left that establishment, we had planted seeds in the minds of some – ‘Here were some Christians drinking beer, not shunning us, and friendly besides.’ Exactly what Jesus did when he attended the feasts that earned him the scorn of the Pharisees...  Those who object to collared Anglican clergymen showing up at the local pub or microbrewery need to take the matter up with Jesus, and explain to him exactly why it was inappropriate for him to do what he did at the wedding in Cana.”

To which I can only add, Amen!


* It is arguable whether “groaning board” originally referred to a “board” (trestle table) so heavy with delicious foods piled upon it that the wood itself groaned with the strain, or whether consumption of too much of said tasty victuals (usually pronounced “vittles”) resulted in groaning on the part of those partaking – possibly both – but either way, it refers to the enjoyment of good food in substantial quantity!

Blighty Boys!

What is a “Blighty Boy”…?

Blighty Boy!

This is a Blighty Boy!

In notable contradistinction to his chief adversary, the distressingly numerous, if decidedly unimpressive, Nu-“Male” (note the quotes), the Blighty Boy is the John Bull of the 21st century. Rule Britannia!

I wish I could claim credit for creating this meme, and the concept it embodies! But alas, I did not. I found it on the internet, and adapted it slightly (the original was “Blighty Boi,” which is way too metrosexual for me) to suit the purposes of The Anglophilic Anglican.

With that change of spelling, The Anglophilic Anglican proudly declares himself a Blighty Boy – at least in principle and philosophy, despite not living in Blighty, and lacking (currently, but hopefully not permanently) “a wholesome, steady relationship.” And I further declare that “Blighty Boys” will be a new category and tag for this blog, referring to traditional English / British culture, viewed from a masculine perspective!

Some (potentially) helpful links and images:

Parliamentary sovereignty: actually, I believe in the sovereignty of the Sovereign: the Monarch, currently Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II – health and long life to her! But I can get onboard with the Sovereignty of Queen-in-Parliament… formally, in the UK, “Queen [or King] in Parliament under God.”

Related image

Roast Dinner with seasonal, local produce – the latter recipes are a bit fancy, but hey! I’m a bit of a “foodie”…

Book of Common Prayer Service, plus an explanation of why “The Book of Common Prayer Is Still A Big Deal.”

The Book of Common Prayer Is Still a Big Deal

“Rugged, strong hands… Works on the land, in industry, or serving society in a useful way.”

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“Applauds Army parades and stands to attention for the National Anthem.”

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The “obligations [the class system] places on the privileged“:

“Paternalism is a much-discredited word these days, but it ought to be remembered that the old, aristocratic ideal of society, however much it involved one side knowing its place and another exercising an arbitrary authority, relied on re-distributing a small part of your largesse to those less fortunately situated… Noblesse continues to oblige, and in a world full of new, tax-avoiding, prole-hating, obligation-avoiding money, old, duty-conscious, stately-home money can sometimes seem a very desirable friend to cultivate.”

Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was a scion of old-school aristocracy which is still bound by the concept of ‘noblesse oblige’Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was a scion of old-school aristocracy which is still bound by the concept of ‘noblesse oblige’ (Christopher Thomond/The Guardian)

“Drinks loose-leaf tea with whole milk.”

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Impressive collection of Airfix models:

https://www.airfix.com/media/catalog/product/cache/2/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/5/a50135-front.jpg

“Loves a cheeky pint…”

The Oxford Movement Begins | Ritual Notes

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Most Anglo-Catholics know that 185 years ago today, John Keble ascended the pulpit at the University Church of St Mary’s in Oxford to deliver the sermon at the opening of the Assize Court. If the date is not remembered, the result certainly is…

Source: The Oxford Movement Begins — Ritual Notes

“Most Anglo-Catholics know that 185 years ago today, John Keble ascended the pulpit at the University Church of St Mary’s in Oxford to deliver the sermon at the opening of the Assize Court. If the date is not remembered, the result certainly is. John Henry Newman wrote that this sermon, easily forgotten during any other time, was the beginning of the Oxford Movement.”

The UEC, parent jurisdiction of the Oratory of St. Bede the Venerable and St. John’s Church, Westminster, is not located on the Anglo-Catholic wing of traditional Anglicanism, but rather considers itself Reformed Catholic, being devoted to the classic formularies of the Anglican tradition, and sometimes tends to look askance at the Oxford Movement (which admittedly, in its later manifestations, became rather ultramontane). Yet this essay makes some excellent points, noting that John Keble’s Assize Sermon of 1833,

“entitled National Apostasy, is unexpectedly good. Once you get through the dense beginning and understand the building argument, it not only speaks clearly to the times in 1833 but it has a remarkable resonance in 2018.

John_Keble.jpg

“In a nutshell, this is Keble’s argument:

“Like Samuel’s Israel, we prefer the lure to live in prosperity and so-called freedom like other non-Christian nations. Nations, and by-extension individuals, find justification for throwing off the yoke of Christ and the demands of discipleship. We look to threats outside and threats within to abandon godly principles (sound familiar?). We then blame government or religion for our ills and never ourselves. We rationalize and excuse every decision and act. We become so tolerant that we believe nothing and we persecute those who believe in the name of inclusion (oh my goodness!). This rebellion moves from individuals to public officials. The officials begin to attack Christ by attacking His Church, beginning with apostolic authority – bishops. This attack will come in the name of popularity and expediency…

“Keble calls the Church to follow the example of Samuel through constant intercession, which then gives grounding and strength to protest. Christians should continue to glorify God in their daily lives and routines and should not be so consumed with the concerns of the day that they neglect ordinary duties, especially prayer and devotion. This is an important point he makes. While we may not live to see wrongs righted, we are on the right and, ultimately, victorious side.

“Every one of his points deserves further reflection and exposition, but is this not the climate of 2018?”

I would certainly say that there are plenty of similarities and parallels! The article goes on to point out – cogently, I think – that

“The Catholic Revival in the Church of England had nothing to do with gin, lace, and backbiting, as is often caricatured. Yes, elaborate ritual and church building followed in the next generation, but this was a logical development of the belief that the Church is not the same as the Post Office. [Or, as I sometimes put it in defending the use of traditional language in worship, “The liturgy – the worship of God – is not Uncle Joe’s barbecue.”] The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives and not the same as chicken tetrazzini at the weekly Rotary Club. The development of ritual and devotion was the servant, the handmaid, to the truths Keble turned our minds to 185 years ago.”

May they never be forgotten!

 


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“How To Kill A Church In Just A Few Easy Steps”: the Episcopal Church changes marriage doctrine… again

General view of Singer/Songwriter Chase Rice Filming Commercial To Preview New Single 'Whisper' at Church of the Assumption and Church of the Advent Episcopal on January 29, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Episcopal Church announced this week that it would be removing the words “man,” “woman,” and “procreation” from its marriage liturgy. Of course, the Episcopalians have long since removed Christ from their liturgy, so this latest move is no surprise.

Source: WALSH: How To Kill A Church In Just A Few Easy Steps | DAILYWIRE

The Episcopal Church – through which I came into the Anglican tradition, and which has been, in years past, the source of much joy and much of my growth in the Christian faith – has been on a long downhill slide for some decades, now. I am not quite ready to agree with Matt Walsh that it is “a church in the same way that the Church of Satan is a church. They are an anti-church. Rather than a body of Christian believers, they are a body of self-worshiping heretics,” but he is not entirely wrong, either.

Knowledgeable observers are torn as to when the rot set in; some would argue that the decision, back in the 1960s, to allow divorced persons to remarry in church without having had their previous marriage annulled – thus undercutting the authority of Christ’s dictum that “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” while placing secular understandings and popular “relevance” above traditional doctrine, and setting a precedent for further modifications – was the beginning.

Others place the point of departure further back, in the 1930s, when the Episcopal Church made the decision to allow artificial contraception, thus effectively decoupling (no pun intended) the sexual act with the act of procreation – a process which was made pandemic by the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s and following, with all sorts of unintended negative consequences for society as a whole (the specifics of which are outside the scope of this essay).

Howsoever that may be, this latest development – to excise both the terms and concepts of “husband,” “wife,” and “procreation” from the marriage liturgy – represents a further acceleration toward the abyss. As reported by Life Site News, inter alia:

The Church of England is torn over plans by the The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States to efface the terms “husband” and “wife” – as well as references to “procreation” – from its marriage liturgy.  

The change is meant to make the church’s marriage ceremonies more “gay-friendly.” Gay and lesbian Episcopalians have complained that the language of the current liturgy is offensive and exclusionary…

“The new service removes the phrase ‘the union of husband and wife’ and replaces it with ‘the union of two people,’” according to a report in the U.K. Telegraph. It also “replaces the section which talks about part of God’s intention for marriage being ‘for the procreation of children’ with the phrase ‘for the gift of children’ to make it more relevant for same-sex couples who may wish to adopt.”

This represents both an abandonment of Scriptural and traditional teaching on the point and purpose of marriage, and a complete and abject capitulation to a small but vocal minority for whom the celebration of their lifestyle choice is far more important than the moral and social standards that have characterized Christianity since its beginning.

I could cite chapter and verse from the Scriptures on this subject ’til I’m blue in the face, but I will not, for several reasons: first, I do not want to lengthen this unduly. Second, many of my readers will already be familiar with the arguments. And thirdly, those who are in favor of this innovation are unlikely to be convinced by appeal to the Scriptures – to which they already sit, shall we say, somewhat loosely.

But there are other issues with this as well. For one thing, I could easily see adding “the gift of children” as an optional alternative for cases in which the wife is infertile, the husband impotent, or the ages of the partners are such that bearing children is not a reasonable expectation. Such persons may well choose to adopt, and all respect to them. But the very word “procreation” is a reminder that we humans have the incredible blessing of sharing with God in the work of creation!

The sexual union of husband and wife, if all is going as Nature and Nature’s God intended, is capable of bringing new life into the world – a creative act, if ever there was one! – and raising up that child in a good way. In fact, the very reason sex feels good is to encourage us to engage in it, and (as the book of Genesis puts it) “be fruitful and multiply.” To put pleasure before procreation – in fact, to maximize pleasure and minimize or eliminate procreation, as we have been doing since the ’60s – puts the cart before the horse.

(We see the fruits of this, or lack thereof, in the plummeting birthrate among Western countries where the sexual revolution has taken hold, even as the population of less “advanced” and “enlightened” countries and regions explodes. Sidelining procreation is morally reprehensible, but it is also biologically and culturally suicidal.)

At any rate, according to Life Site News, “The move prompted a critical response from Church of England Secretary General William Nye last October, strongly urging the TEC to reconsider. The letter threatened to cut ties with the U.S. church if it adopts the planned gender-neutral [phrasing], replacing the current wording in its Book of Common Prayer.” This is more than a little disingenuous on the part of the C of E, since their pattern in the past has been to first deplore, and then later adopt, every left-wing innovation that has come out of the Episcopal Church! But it would be nice if they’d follow through, this time.

Whatever the C of E decides, Matt Walsh points out that

“Today there are fewer Episcopalians in America than Jews or Mormons. This is significant because the latter groups have always been relatively small minorities in America, while the Episcopal church was once the largest church in the nation. [Of course, that was a long while ago!] It’s been all downhill since then.

“What happened? You can easily track the church’s stunning decline over the past several decades and see that it corresponds to the church’s shedding of Christian orthodoxy in favor of liberal orthodoxy [emphasis added]. It began, as always, with the embracing of birth control and divorce. Then they moved to the ordination of women. Then it was a straight line to the ordination of openly gay clergy and the approval of same sex marriage. Now there is nothing surprising about seeing a feminist Episcopal priest blessing an abortion clinic or a transgender priest leading a service in a church adorned with rainbow flags. And it is even less surprising to look around the church and notice that nobody is sitting in the pews.

Why would they come and sit in the pews? What would be the point? The message of liberal Christianity is: “You’re perfectly fine exactly the way you are. Everything you’re doing is acceptable. Make no changes. Keep up the great work!” A weak person may be happy to hear that message, but they need not hear it twice. They need not come back for it week after week.

Traditional Christianity, in stark contrast, recognizes that a) we are all sinners in need of divine grace, and b) as sinners, we have a high recidivism rate, and need continuing infusions of that grace, just as we need to drink water regularly in order to survive.

Indeed, Christ likened himself to “living water,” that brings life eternal – and we imbibe that living water most fully when we “assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits we have received at [God’s] hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those thing which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul” (Book of Common Prayer 1928, Morning Prayer) – and not least, in receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the sacrament of the Holy Communion, as is “our bounden duty and service.”

But for that, we have to show up. I generally offer live broadcasts of Morning and Evening Prayer via Facebook on Sundays, and just as in an earlier time (and sometimes still today) churches offered first radio, later television, broadcasts of their services, I have no doubt that these may serve as a means of getting God’s word out to people who might not otherwise receive it.

But (setting aside for the moment that there can be no such things as a “virtual” Eucharist – one is either present to receive the Body and Blood, or one is not) the fact remains that one must make a decision to be present, and act on it. If you don’t show up (or perhaps, click on the right link), you won’t be able to hear and receive God’s Word. Nor is merely receiving the end of it: you still have to act on it. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,” St. James reminds us.

And as Walsh points out,

“If a person wants worldliness, they can go literally anywhere to get it. If they want lectures on diversity and inclusion, they can stop by the Human Resources office at work, or maybe have a chat with a public school guidance counselor. If they want encouragement to continue in their sin, Satan is happy to use a whole variety of methods to communicate that encouragement…

“But if a person wants to pursue something higher; if he wants to be rescued from the dreariness of modern culture; if he wants to find his real and transcendent identity; if he wants to be challenged; if he wants meaning, then he has even less reason to turn to Episcopalianism or any similar variety of Christianity. It is not substantial enough. It is not different enough. It is not saying enough. It is not asking enough of him.

“That is the great secret that ‘progressive’ and ‘inclusive’ Christian leaders are too high on the fumes of humanism to notice or understand. Religions grow when they expect more of their adherents, not less. Religions thrive when they provide a lifestyle that is radically different from the dull, hollow lifestyle provided by the world. People turn to religion for identity. And if all they find is more of the same, more of what caused them to go looking in the first place, they will not be converted.”

Fortunately, there is an alternative. There are a number of alternatives, actually; but there is one that I can speak to and recommend personally because I am not only a member of it, but a priest in it: the United Episcopal Church of North America (UECNA, not to be confused with “the” Episcopal Church: TEC, or formerly PECUSA), of which the Oratory of St. Bede the Venerable (a.k.a. St. Bede’s Traditional Anglican Mission) and the nascent St. John’s Anglican Church, Westminster, are member congregations.

The UECNA is a conservative, traditional, and orthodox Church, in the classical Anglican expression of Christianity. We accept the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as “God’s Word written” and “containing all things necessary to salvation”; we look to the ancient and ecumenical (accepted by the whole Church of the time) Councils of the Church, and the Creeds promulgated by them, as our guides to interpreting those Scriptures.

We use the traditional Book of Common Prayer (1928 in the U.S., 1962 in Canada) and other classic Formularies (Ordinal, Thirty-Nine Articles, and Homilies) of the Anglican tradition for worship, devotion, and to guide our theological and moral understanding as Anglican Christians. These documents are to be read in accordance with the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church, to the exclusion of all heresies ancient and modern.

Our Bishops are consecrated in the historic Succession which we believe stretches back to the Apostles themselves. Our Presiding Bishop, Archbishop Peter Robinson, is also Bishop Ordinary of the Missionary Diocese of the East, within which both the Oratory of St. Bede’s and St. John’s Anglican Church are located. The United Episcopal Church maintains the Scriptural practice of ordaining only men to the orders of Deacon, Presbyter (Priest) and Bishop, but maintains the Order of Deaconesses as an ancient, lay vocation for women.

We believe that Christian marriage is to be between one man and one woman, and is a lifelong, sacramental union between them. However, as a pastoral matter, we also accept that marriages can and do fail, and seek to extend proper pastoral support to those whose marriages have failed or are in danger of failing. And we maintain the sanctity of life from conception through natural death.

For more details, see this exposition of our Core Values. You are also, of course, encouraged to visit the Oratory of St. Bede the Venerable’s page, either here or on Facebook.

And in any case, may God bless you!

CHURCH AND YOUTH: THE SHOCK OF THE OLD | Latest News – The Prayer Book Society

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I have discovered that, alongside the depth that sustains my own prayer life, there is a remarkable breadth represented in the Prayer Book which, as a new generation tries to move beyond the toxic labels of the past, could provide a focal point for theological unity once more.

Source: CHURCH AND YOUTH: THE SHOCK OF THE OLD | Latest News – The Prayer Book Society

“I would, with tongue only slightly in cheek, suggest that liturgies such as Old Rite mass or Prayer Book evensong are truly inclusive, in that they are places where the churched, unchurched, and dechurched sit and allow the experience to wash over them. If even Richard Dawkins—a man who, I will admit, probably spends more time thinking about God than I do—can express affection for evensong, then I would suggest that there is an evangelistic potential in quiet dignity that we are not taking as seriously as we should. There is no introducing yourself to your neighbour, no enthusiastic hand-wringing at the Peace, no Blind Date-style “What’s your name, and where do you come from?” during the notices. There is simply the experience of being in the presence of holiness.

“For a generation for whom the majority of socialising no longer occurs face to face, and for whom encounters with anxiety are common, while ones with rooted community are not, this breathing space is invaluable. It allows a gentle introduction in terms of what is required socially, without compromising the authenticity of what is required intellectually; neither overly polarising nor overly patronising. It is a space that leaves room to contemplate mystery.”

Pure gold.

Read, mark learn, and inwardly digest.


Personal Note: I resonate strongly with this, because of my own personal history when it comes to the faith: I myself was brought (back) into it through The Book of Common Prayer. I came to the Anglican tradition in my mid-twenties. I had not grown up unchurched; far from it. Continue reading “CHURCH AND YOUTH: THE SHOCK OF THE OLD | Latest News – The Prayer Book Society”

Hallelujah! Welby takes a stand against Sharia | Comment | The Times

 

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By challenging the spread of Islamic law, the archbishop is finally fighting for Christian values

Source: Hallelujah! Welby takes a stand against Sharia | Comment | The Times

Melanie Philips, a blogger, editorialist, and cultural commentator based in Britain, is not herself a Christian, being of the Jewish faith; but she is more perceptive about the importance of Christianity to the survival of Western civilization than many who claim the mantle of Christ. She writes,

“Our increasingly post-Christian society makes the widespread assumption that secularism promotes freedom and equality while Christianity merely divides us. In fact, freedom and equality are Biblical precepts that bind us together. It is secularism that has divided us into groups jostling for power over each other and which has shattered our sense of a shared national project.”

Indeed. Would that more Christians, including those in high places in the Church, were to realize that as well! Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, has been one of those who has been reticent about standing up for Christianity in the fact of the dual attacks by militant Islam, on the one hand, and aggressive secularism and atheism, on the other.

But as my father used to say, “even a stopped clock is right twice a day,” and he has been reasonably outspoken on the dangers of Sharia (Islamic law). Reasonably. But as Ms Philips points out, he goes only so far, and it’s questionable whether it’s far enough:

“Archbishop Welby has spoken with some courage about resisting Sharia. He also wants Britain to ‘reimagine’ its identity on the basis of Christianity. Yet he undermines this by suggesting that different faiths must play an equivalent role. The mouse may have roared — but it remains, alas, a mouse.”

I do wonder what some of the late, great Archbishops of Canterbury – not just the great medieval and Reformation Archbishops, but even more recent holders of the office like the late sainted Michael Ramsey, and even Robert Runcie – would think about the current one! It is at least apparent that Lord Carey (immediate predecessor to Rowan Williams, himself the last Archbishop of Canterbury before Welby) is none too pleased…