By Hilary White
ROCHESTER, UK, June 2, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “The beliefs, values and virtues of Great Britain have been formed by the Christian faith” and the loss of that faith in public life has resulted not only in social breakdown, but the creation of a moral and cultural vacuum that is being filled by violent radical Islamism says a senior Anglican prelate.
In an article in the new political magazine Standpoint, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, the Anglican Bishop of Rochester, pinpointed the “social and sexual revolution” of the 1960s orchestrated by Marxist academics, as the source of the sudden collapse of Christian values. The “endless self-indulgence” of the “new Britain” has resulted in skyrocketing rates of drunkenness, drug abuse, street violence, family breakdown. He added that the solutions offered – talk of “respect, tolerance and good behaviour” popular with Britain’s politicians – are “hardly adequate for the task before us”.
“It is this situation that has created the moral and spiritual vacuum in which we now find ourselves. While the Christian consensus was dissolved, nothing else, except perhaps endless self-indulgence, was put in its place,” he wrote.
Britain’s social values such as the dignity of human life, equality before the law and freedom are developments of Christian values, the Pakistan-born Nazir-Ali said, and without their Christian foundation, will break down in favour of new belief systems based on different values.
“Radical Islamism, for example, will emphasise the solidarity of the umma [worldwide community of the Muslim faithful] against the freedom of the individual. Instead of the Christian virtues of humility, service and sacrifice, there may be honour, piety and the importance of ‘saving face’.”
The bishop wrote that Britain’s historical reality is that it was Christianity that unified a “rabble of mutually hostile tribes, fiefdoms and kingdoms” into a nation conscious of its identity and strong enough to form a global empire. Dr. Nazir-Ali credited the rise of neo-Marxism among academics in the 1960s who orchestrated the “social and sexual revolution” to which Church leaders “all but capitulated”.
In this revolution, genuine Christian values of openness have been replaced by the “newfangled and insecurely founded” doctrine of multiculturalism. This has resulted in a Britain made up of “segregated communities and parallel lives” with little social foundation to unify and give it identity.
Bishop Nazir-Ali’s article closely followed comments he made last week that Britain’s Christians were failing in their duty to Muslims in refusing to attempt to convert them to Christianity, a suggestion that was greeted with howls of outrage from his fellow Anglican officials who insisted that they “show no sensitivity to the need for good inter-faith relations”.
Stephen Lowe, the former Bishop of Hulme and the newly appointed Bishop of Urban Life and Faith, said that “Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs are learning to respect one another’s paths to God and to live in harmony. This demand for the evangelisation of people of other faiths contributes nothing to our communities.”
Peter Hitchens, a columnist and author, wrote in the Daily Mail this weekend asking why Britain “had to wait” for Bishop Nazir-Ali “to urge us to do something about restoring that faith before we either sink into a yelling chaos of knives, fists and boots, or swoon into the strong, implacable arms of Islam?”
“Most of our homegrown prelates are more interested in homosexuality or in spreading doubt about the gospel or urging the adoption of Sharia law.”
Hitchens noted that it is well known that British foreign and intelligence agencies after the Second World War were “maggoty with Communist penetration”.
“I am sometimes tempted to wonder if the same organisation targeted both political parties (especially the Unconservatives), the Church of England, the BBC, the Civil Service, the legal profession and the universities.”
Ominously, Hitchens adds, “We have a country demoralised in every sense, its people robbed of their own pride, its children deprived of stability and authority, terrifyingly ignorant of their own culture, its tottering economy largely owned from abroad, its armed forces weak, its justice system a sick joke, its masses distracted by pornography, drink and drugs, its constitution menaced, its elite in the grip of a destructive, intolerant atheism.
“Ripe, in fact, for a foreign takeover.”