Saints were never ordinary. There is a hint there for anyone who wants to see it. If you look at a field of wheat moving in the breeze, you see a 'level' height except for the occasional stalk that extends well above the rest. They are 'Outstanding'.
Most, if not all, went firmly against the prevailing 'norms' of their societies.
They were Radicals.
Their focus was generally not political but that is all some people can see.
The general height of the crop though is also important. Stony ground does not bode well, nor blight. And our society has always suffered from stones and blight. But it is from even poor soil that a crop may be gained over time and with effort. The soil can be improved.
It looks as though the Prime Ministerial farmer in the UK has belatedly realized that a blight has hit the British society. Not that he is taking any of the blame for neglecting the soil or his failure to water and fertilise it properly. The fungus has been growing for quite a while whilst our politicians have sat at home whittling.
Guido Fawkes tells of the belated response to the latest political hypocricy in the UK.
Ed Miliband: Britain is a “Christian Country”
And lo, it was Eastertide, and David spake unto the Church Times that Britain was indeed a Christian country. And it came to pass that godless pinkos wrote unto the Telegraph that David had sinned, for he had offended them. Despite 59% of Britons describing themselves as Christians in the most recent census, Britain having an established church and the Head of State being nominally still the Defender of the Anglican Faith.
The signatories to the letter - among them Labour donor Ken Follett, Labour peers Baroness Whittaker and Lord O'Neill, Labour-supporting QC Geoffrey Bindman, former Welsh Labour AM Lorraine Barrett, Denis MacShane's ex Joan Smith, and Polly Toynbee - are very angry about Dave using the phrase "Christian country".
Apparently saying so "fosters alienation and division in our society".It is an odd thing, this 'divisiveness'. It is only divisive if it challenges 'change' foisted by 'progressives'. Their changes are never divisive, of course.
For some reason they did not feel the need to write a letter to a national newspaper ten days ago, when Ed Miliband on a visit to Israel said that Britain was quote "a Christian country"
Using religion for political ends? Who would do such a thing...
Nigel Farage, who cynics think is the real catalyst for Cameron's remarks on traditional Christian values, has just told ITV's Daybreak "I've been saying for years that Britain should be more muscular in its Christianity." Cameroon modernisers and their friends in the commentariat think that Dave talking about faith will impress older UKIP voters put off by the government's advocacy of gay marriage. Shows their cluelessness...Quite a crowd had a long discussion in the Pin & Balloon yesterday. Much fine wine was consumed.
Daniel Martin was telling us....
British civil servants sent on course telling them how to 'do God':
Many don't know basics of Christianity
Civil servants are being given lessons on religion amid fears that many have no understanding of Christianity and other faiths.
In a sign of the increasing secularisation of our public services, employees across Whitehall have been urged to attend ‘How should governments “do” God’ seminars.
The events are designed to help officials ensure policies meet the needs of religious people.
Faith groups said it was astonishing that the civil service is so packed with metropolitan atheists that they have to be reminded to take into account the views of millions who are members of a major religion.
The seminars, which have been advertised across government departments, are being arranged by the faith team at the Department of Communities and Local Government.
They are designed to combat the sort of ‘biblical illiteracy’ which saw an Oxford Council official refuse permission for a traditional Good Friday Passion play.
As reported in yesterday’s Daily Mail, the official
did not know what a Passion play was and thought it might be a sex show,
rather than a traditional Easter performance depicting the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus.
A flyer for the ‘How should governments “do” God?’ seminars, seen by the Mail, urges civil servants to sign up for them in order to ‘tailor your policy making to ensure it is responsive to the needs and perspectives of people of faith’.
Baroness Warsi, minister for faith and communities, has been clear that she sees it as part of the role of Government to set the conditions to be able to enable people of faith to manifest their religious beliefs openly and contribute to society.
‘This seminar... will focus on the drivers, obstacles to and benefits of departments “doing God” well.’ It adds that the idea is to improve ‘religious literacy’ across Whitehall and in the public sector in general.
David Cameron spoke this week of his own faith, saying that Britain should be unashamedly evangelical about its Christianity and let religion play a greater role in society.
Writing in the Church Times, the Anglican newspaper, he said he had experienced the ‘healing power’ of religion and Christianity could transform the ‘spiritual, physical, and moral’ state of the country.
However, his government has been accused by Christian groups of ignoring their concerns on issues such as gay marriage.
Last night a source close to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
‘The Labour government adopted an attitude of secular intolerance towards religion
'By contrast, this Government strongly supports faith in public life. A little more education and training will help Whitehall recognise the important role than all faiths, including Christianity, play in our nation.’Frankly these are simply weasel-words. Better are those of an interjector....
Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said:
‘I am daily dumbfounded by the depths of biblical illiteracy displayed by Britain’s chattering classes and especially by many in Parliament and our major institutions.'Many members of this new liberal elite are simply intelligent barbarians; university graduates who know less about the basic tenets of Christianity than the three-year-olds in my wife’s Sunday school class.’
My good friend James Higham also spoke about the decline of Christianity under the 'Powers that Be' in Britain.
One way or the other, a pretty strong Christology arose that people were prepared to die for within 20 years of the death of Jesus. There’ve been many articles putting that down to the charisma of leaders fooling supporters, e.g. Jim Jones, Hitler, but what marks these is that they had no redemptive element, no healing – they were either destructive or hedonistic or both. They were based on hollow values.
And what is apparent, especially today, is, as the Spectator's Douglas Murray asked: Would human life be sacred in an atheist world?
It’s disturbingly hard to say so.
This is the crux of the matter for the non-Christian in a society which was built at least on lip service to Christian ideals and what happens to a society which increasingly spurns that.
A glance at the media and it’s a constant litany of incest, small boys immolated in petrol, teens suiciding, broken families, even the leader of the nation bludgeoning through the anathema faux concept of marriage as gay but there’s something more disturbing than that.
It’s less safe, not just for women and children but also for men – it’s not a happy time for men, particularly older men, the respect women craved is diminishing in the new sexism which holds women in disrepute, as the dream fades, women are less and less happy and more and more shallow, a la Kardashian and adulthood is being forced on children, abetted by teachers, at an age where it should never ever be appearing. This is a Lord of the Flies scenario – a descent into savagery by abandoning the very things which kept everyone safe within the rule of law.
I’ve seen the result of 90 odd years of atheism in Russia and it’s not nice. At street level, it’s a very dangerous place and the double and triple doors to flats, including the metal outer door with its multiple bolts, plus the barred windows, is testimony to how Russians perceive personal safety.
An atheist world is not god-free morality, a happily Brave New World –
.... it never has been, wherever it’s been tried. Not in the least.
It is a world where the constraints people felt when Christian mores were still strong has gone and on the highway, that man who cuts you off in an act of road rage is liable to stab you to death now where once he’d have used his fists. It’s a world egged on by gaming for the masses where no action has any restraint – for what code of morals is left to restrain the person? Take revenge?
And it’s also a world of the PTB attempting to enslave and shore up its own position whilst going soft on criminals and hitting the innocent.
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Some of the finest people I know are from 'denominations' other than Catholic.
Their Faith in Christ is beyond question. They are beloved. Their choice of church is largely provided from childhood rather than intellectual discrimination.
In the United Kingdom there is still in place the 'Catholic Emancipation Act' which whilst stopping the burning and head-chopping of Catholics nevertheless singles them out for continued prohibitions in positions of Public Office.
Roger Wolsey, a Methodist Pastor, nevertheless had something to say about civil authorities getting involved with Faith and God.
Instead, the way that Jesus taught was that of out-right,
defiance and rejection of any powers that be,
any powers or principalities that dare to usurp God’s power in God’s world!
But Jesus’ way was a nonviolent way. He didn’t use the world’s ways against the world. He simply said that the worldly powers are impotent – they have no power, that the real power is with God and in the Kingdom of God!
And then Jesus demonstrated that power by reaching out to the people who society had rejected; and He invited people to repent and to change their way of thinking and living so that they could break free from ways which collaborated with the Empire so that they could start living freely and abundantly in deep community and communion with one another…
And then He went into the belly of the beast – right into the Temple in Jerusalem which had been collaborating with Roman imperial dominance and said “NO!”
He condemned the corrupted Temple system which had been blessing the unjust status quo and colluding with the Roman Empire. Without hitting anyone with that make-shift whip of his, he knocked over the tables in the courtyard and boldly confronted the powers and
called them out as frauds.
He occupied and took back that house for God’s purposes.
We can see the seeds of that starting to get through to peoples on the opposite side of the world too.
China has been deep in the pit of Communism and is slowly clawing its way back. The People are rediscovering that part of themselves that 'Powers and Principalities' cannot defeat.
One of the Catellaxy crowd in the snug said:
One of the most enlightening books I have ever come across was The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success by Rodney Stark. And at the very end of this book there is a quote from a Chinese scholar who had been part of an investigation into the causes of Western economic success. This is a direct quote of what this Chinese scholar had said:
One of the things we were asked to look at was the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West, all over the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.
I was reminded of this by an article in London’s The Telegraph with the self-explanatory heading, China on course to become ‘world’s most Christian nation’ within 15 years. And while you may be sure the Chinese government has been keeping a watchful eye on where this might go, they have also not been attempting to stamp it out. And there are reasons for this, in keeping with that earlier study:
Some officials argue that religious groups can provide social services the government cannot, while simultaneously helping reverse a growing moral crisis in a land where cash, not Communism, has now become king.
They appear to agree with David Cameron, the British prime minister, who said last week that Christianity could help boost Britain’s “spiritual, physical and moral” state.
Ms Shi, Liushi’s preacher, who is careful to describe her church as “patriotic”, said:
“We have two motivations: one is our gospel mission and the other is serving society. Christianity can also play a role in maintaining peace and stability in society. Without God, people can do as they please.”
In place of a moral order we now have political correctness and the pagan religion of Gaia and the environment.
China, meanwhile, may become a Christian nation as we in the West depart from what may be the single most important part of the inheritance we have.
So, not to put too fine a point, but nonetheless to be succinct...
China – Authoritarian freedom hating left v freedom loving people => People of aspiration & ideas fighting to survive against crony class by learning & loving the ideas of individual freedom unique to Judeo-Christian religions
Australia & the West – Authoritarian freedom hating left v Freedom loving people => People of aspiration & ideas fighting to survive against crony class by holding to ideas of individual freedom unique to Judeo-Christian religionsNot that everyone can find agreement. Some will always hark back to the past looking through the fog created by Henry the Eighth's own Agitprop services. Yes, the Protestant King who started his own enslaved church had an entire department of state devoted to spreading lies, damned lies and statistics about the Catholic Church, and those same efforts still colour many people's thinking
One such voice piped up ...
There were centuries of church rule in Europe where intellectual progress was discouraged… it was the Enlightenment that allowed people to loosen their thought patterns and try new ideas, that’s what led to and explosion in science and technology.But another voice challenged....
Hmmm, it was fortuitous then that I should stumble across this today:
This analysis dovetails nicely with the conceptions most people have these days of the Reformation, of traditional Catholicism, and of freedom and rationality and their relationship to authority and tradition. It is, for that reason, completely worthless. For such conceptions rest largely on clichés whose content owes less to actual historical fact than to the needs of Reformation and Enlightenment era anti-Catholic polemic.
Scholars like Stanley Jaki have painstakingly demonstrated that the scientific revolution was a natural outgrowth, rather than a wholesale rejection, of the Medieval Catholic intellectual tradition, and the oversimplifications and distortions inherent in the standard anti-Catholic reading of the Galileo episode have been exposed in books like Wade Rowland’s recent Galileo’s Mistake.
Henry Kamen’s work on The Spanish Inquisition documents similar distortions typical of accounts of that event, and Thomas Madden’s A Concise History of the Crusades makes evident that the Crusades were in essence nothing more than a (failed) attempt to turn the tide of centuries of Islamic aggression and liberate once-Christian lands long suffering under Muslim conquest – something for which modern Westerners owe no apology.
The notion that the Medieval Church lay in darkness, oppression, and superstition, desperately awaiting liberation by a coarse German monk, is, in short, a myth.The Catholic Church was under diabolical attack from Day 1. It has weathered every attack that ol' Beelzebub has thrown at it. Those attacks continue.
It is a blindness on the part of protestants to see the clear faults of the catholic church as Catholic Church faults. They are instead the results of constant battle, and battle causes damage. The walls get hammered; people within the Church fall. They 'fail spiritually'. The present-day scourge of paedophile priests (themselves small in number and all homosexual) and the older scourge of 'Indulgence selling' priests, Bishops, even Popes, show that even the best of men can be cut down by a determined enemy.
And Satan is determined.
But we have the words of Christ Himself to give us hope. Of His Church, the Catholic Church, He said,
"The Gates of Hell shall Not Prevail against it."
The Church needs its Saints. Its Militant Fighters. Its Radicals.
Which side of the gates do you choose to be on?
It has to be won.
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