Thursday, 17 June 2010

Views on Western Civilization: A letter to Left Liberals

I am posting this blog for the sake of posterity. It was written a few years ago and I would like to keep it on file here.

I feel there is a need to say more about the value of Western Civilization. It is my contention that many overlook the importance of Christianity as a model for society. I too have done this. But I am taking more time to understand our origins which now shape the society and culture we have inherited and live in today.

I have been critical of Multiculturalism. I still am. I cannot see how a British New Labour Government can expect a society to run smoothly if it has had a policy of uncontrolled immigration. England is an already overcrowded small island. It is not America. I believe this debate is about common sense. But some are intent on crying "racism" as soon as a discussion takes place. Shame on them.

My intent is to open up a debate that has been crying out for attention. To expect a society to tolerate every religion, creed and language is a noble idea based upon the evolvement of Human Rights law in secular society. Although, this law is not so well received in countries which do not share a Western Christian tradition.

And this is yet another essential point. British society is changing. Not all change though is for the better. In this view I remain conservative.

Whether it is realistic to expect societies to transform themselves for the sake of Human Rights law is open to discussion. What I suspect has happened is that the Government, New Labour, have abused their power and the democratic process by creating a client state. And, that uncontrolled immigration was not simply a matter of negligence but Government policy to assist it in holding onto power.

But these are mainly political contentions. My aim here is to highlight the importance of the tradition and culture that is now the world's great inheritance. A Europeanization which many now refer to as Globalization.

So how did Western Civilization evolve into the society we have today?

To my mind it is to a self critical, liberal, tolerant Christian culture and tradition which has forged and shaped the secular society that liberals enjoy today.

In many ways Christianity has argued itself out of power and influence to accomadate a Christocentric view. The classic example of this is perhaps the fight against slavery by William Wilberforce. Christian ideas about equality encouraged others. Eventually, women and womens suffrage.

All this happened in a Christian society which became more Secular by the minute. All this began two thousand years or so ago because one Man, Jesus Christ said, "the Sabbath was made for Man; not Man for the Sabbath." This was revolutionary thinking and freed Man from excessive religious legalism. In other words, a law of love; not a love of law.

What we have today, and that includes womens equality, has evolved from Christian consciousness and ideas about equality. Without which we would be the same as any other Civilization.

What do you mean by that? I hear you ask.

Well, if we examine women's rights - in almost every country in the world which does not have a Christian religious tradition -you will find that women are often held in some disregard. Certainly, there is little chance of equality unless there are exceptional circumstances.
One only has to travel to any of the following countries to test the validity of this observation; China, Japan, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Iran, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, Qatar etc etc. I have visited or lived in seven of these countries but I do not think I need to travel to every country in the world to make this case. As it is I have travelled to nearly thirty different countries and this experience has shaped my opinion.

The view expressed here embraces Christianity and not just Catholicism because any attempt to provide an overview on Christian thinking and its affects on society necessarily demand it. To talk only about Catholicism, is, in this context, like painting a picture of a tree without its branches.

Lastly, I wish to quote Joseph Ratzinger from his book on Jesus of Nazareth. He writes about the solid ground of a Christian belief that guarantees the dignity of man by rooting it in the dignity of God:

"In the antithesis of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stands before us neither as a rebel nor as a liberal, but as the prophetic interpreter of the Torah. He does not abolish it, but he fulfills it, and he does so precisely by assigning reason its sphere of responsibility for acting within history."

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