The Enemy from Within

Phillips hit the nail on the head when she wrote, “When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilization, and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilization rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then – and only then – will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
August 2011

The tragic breakdown of law and order in England this past week is primarily a moral and spiritual one, not economic or political.

The mob riots in UK cities, following the shooting death of suspected gang member Mark Duggan by Metropolitan Police, is out of all proportion to what happened. It reveals a deep malaise at the heart of British life.

It results from a combination of the failure of the Welfare State and what Melanie Phillips of the Daily Mail described as the “all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.”

It is also the failure of the Church of England to preach a sincere and succinct message of faith in Christ as the only hope of salvation for millions of Brits who have lost their way and long ago abandoned the CofE as having any real meaning or purpose to their lives. The church is reaping what it has sown. Promoting women bishops and sodomy while parishes empty out has been the death knell of the church making it utterly irrelevant to the lives of 98% of the British people. Every time I travel to the UK, I see more and more evidence of its spiritual decline and the day-to-day increase in incivility.

When B&B owners are fined for not allowing two sodomites the “right” to fornicate in one of their bedrooms, or a British Airlines stewardess (I won’t fly BA anymore) is fired because she insists on wearing a cross around her neck and a medical doctor is fired for talking about his faith to a dying patient, you know England is in trouble. Deep trouble.

This week it all came to a head. The mob violence, the looters, black and white, (some as young as 8), but, oddly, none of them fanatical Islamists, all took to the streets of England’s major cities and lit them up like the 4th of July (or Guy Fawkes Day). This is a sign that England is in trouble. Big trouble.

When the Archbishop of Canterbury finally weighed in (four days later, he was on holiday), he commented, “The tragedy of the events of recent days is that those who will pay the heaviest price are those who most need stability and encouragement in local communities – people who run small local businesses, people who need efficient emergency services, people, old or young, with limited mobility. In no imaginable sense does the violence we have seen help anyone; those who have been involved have achieved nothing except to intensify the cycle of deprivation and vulnerability.

“That being said, we now have a major question to address, which is how to combat the deep alienation we have seen, the alienation and cynicism that leads to reckless destruction. The Government has insisted on the priority of creating stronger, better-resourced local communities. This priority is now a matter of extreme urgency. We need to see initiatives that will address anxieties and provide some hope of long-term stability in community services, especially for the young. Meanwhile the Church will maintain its commitment to all communities at risk, and is ready to offer its help and solidarity in every possible way.”

The ABC totally dodged the bullet about England’s moral decline and his church’s failure to address the spiritual bankruptcy of the nation. He talked about “better-resourced communities” and “long-term stability” and blah, blah blah, but nowhere did he address the root cause of the mob violence.

Were these young people – teens- (and they were young — one was 8) ever been presented with the claims of Christ and the importance of a radically changed life and a work ethic to go with it, or, instead, were they told how wonderful they were (more self esteem please) and how the answer lay in state provided welfare checks. (Go and enjoy yourself in the south of France on the state).

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres seemed to get a better handle on the violence noting, “One of the most appalling aspects of what has happened is the utter disregard for life and livelihoods shown by a minority of those who went on the rampage. They seem to lack the restraint and the moral compass that comes from clear teaching about right and wrong communicated through nourishing relationships. The background to the riots is family breakdown and the absence of strong and positive role models.”

Dr. Williams did not even come close to saying anything like this.

Chartres went on to mention those churches that were doing a sterling job on the front lines in the cities affected by providing aid and comfort to the Police and those endangered by the mobs.

US columnist Cal Thomas made a point when he said that British history and values are no longer being adequately taught in the UK for fear a sense of super-nationalism might be conveyed. This comes at a time when no nation is to be considered superior to any other, a view expressed by President Obama. According to a 2007 research report on church attendance in the UK from Tearfund, a UK Christian relief and development agency, just “fifteen percent of UK adults go to church at least once a month.” BBC News reports that according to a 2001 Census survey, “a fifth of children are in lone-parent families … 91 percent of these families headed by mother” and there is “a minority of married couples for the first time — 45 percent of the population versus 64 percent in 1981.” So, when the government calls on parents to be more vigilant about the whereabouts of their teenagers, the likelihood there are enough stable two-parent households who care enough to do so is not encouraging.

“If civility, right and wrong, personal responsibility and accountability and the right to life, liberty and personal property are not values worthy of being passed on to the next generation, then their opposites will be taught by default. Children don’t ‘catch’ goodness and right behavior as they do a cold. Their natural tendency is to do wrong. The goal of discipline is to teach them to do right. The London riots are the extreme outcome when ‘right’ is no longer defined,” said Thomas.

“When a society refuses to impose a moral code in its schools, homes and culture, pandemonium is the result — think Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. Multiply that several times and you have the lawlessness that has swept Britain with greater force than its mad cow disease scare.” “This was not an angry crowd; this was a greedy crowd,” said Chris Sims, chief constable of West Midlands police. One could see that from the TV shots of women trying on clothes and shoes before stealing them and men ripping flat-screen TVs off walls and smashing windows and jewelry cases.”

Phillips hit the nail on the head when she wrote, “When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilization, and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilization rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then – and only then – will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.

“Until then, within the smoldering embers of our smashed and burned-out cities, we can only look upon the ruins of the Britain we have so dearly loved; the Britain that once led the world towards civilization, but is now so tragically leading the way out.”

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