Cardinal Keith O’Brien: the Pope should ‘give Labour hell’ for its policies
But as much as one might agree with the Cardinal that the forthcoming visit of His Holiness to Scotland
It is difficult to summarise the damage this Labour Government has done to the Christian conservative-liberal settlement by which the United Kingdom has been bound together for centuries. And that is conservative with a small ‘c’ and liberal with a small ‘l’. It is a peculiarly English disposition: autonomy in a social context; the right to life, liberty and property, possessed by man in isolation, with the state stepping in to do what only the state can do, leaving the rest of existence to voluntary association and free pursuit. It is the disposition which has guarded us against bloody revolution, and sustained the peace for more than three centuries.
After 13 years of New Labour, we now have a despotism in which each individual is encouraged to assert his or her rights, with one minority interest group perpetually pitted against another; all now conditioned to look to the state as the only source of wisdom and truth. By aggressively asserting ‘equality’, the benign Christian settlement by which the character of the nation has been forged and its liberties constructed is reduced to being merely one constitutional template among many. We have become, as Hegel would say, a soulless community, irredeemably divided into a mere multiplicity of individuals, in which all count the same.
The logical end of the New Labour project is expounded by Plato: the state controls voluntary association, suppresses the home and usurps the functions of family life. We are not quite yet at ‘mating festivals’, but the aggressive moves towards a state curriculum for morality, or the plans for a universal register of all state-approved home-schoolers, is designed to ‘liberate’ the child from all previous influences upon his or her life, to undo any religious or moral influence, and return the child to that state of abstract equality which preceded his or her social existence.
After 13 years of New Labour, church and state are no longer in what Hooker called a ‘living tension’; the secular state has neutered the sacred church, such that it dare not open its mouth for fear of offending some minority, uttering something profane to the creed of political correctness, or ‘inciting hatred’ towards Muslims. The Church of England has been emasculated and feminised by the testosterone-charge of rabid secularism. What was once the ‘Tory party at prayer’ has become the ‘spiritual wing of New Labour’.
The state of England’s national church is a disgrace. In fact, it is more than a disgrace, it is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.
Shakespearean because it has abandoned the classical unities of action, time and place (there are so many gay, feminist and papal sub-plots that there is no possibility of coherent action occurring in one day and in one place). And it has a particular non-Aristotelian tragi-comedic feel, fusing clowns with hollow crowns, robed protagonists with carping clerics and religio-political spectacle expressed in sublime moments of poetry against the prosiac prose of life.
But it is not so much blank verse as blank theology.
There may be no towering protagonist like a Lear, Hamlet or Othello, but there is an individual who is leading us to an inescapable destiny of conflict. It seems to demand a tragic ending, but it will probably be averted by the pervasive comic action.
Godly people have simply been ground down by the bureaucrats and those who couldn’t beat them have joined them. If they are not consumed by women priests and bishops, they are distracted by serial re-marriage or absorbed by gay blessings.
All in the name of ‘equality’.
And while the new gospel of the rights of man has been ascendant, the Christian conscience has been usurped.
After 13 years of New Labour, we have seen an a steadily increasing intolerance of religious or ethical considerations, and especially to those of immense concern to Christians. The triumph of utilitarianism has relegated religious considerations to the peripheries of sanity, and the only rational context in which debate can now take place is that which reduces ethical considerations to matters of economics or science.
New Labour has cheapened the value of life and negated the primacy of conscience. They have misrepresented science in order to perpetuate their programme of social engineering, and they are intent on destroying the carefully-laid foundations of tolerance and respect which have set this nation apart. They are so intent on legislating for tolerance towards every intolerant minority that they are legislating for intolerance of the tolerant Christian majority.
When Christians dare to be convicted, they are portrayed as bigots. When they articulate a view with which others may disagree, they are dogmatic. When they fall short of perfection, they are pilloried and cast as hypocrites. When they defend the unborn, they are unenlightened. When they oppose animal-human embryos, they are anti-science. When they express concern over the fatherless, they are homophobic. When they speak up for the poor, they are wishy-washy liberals. When they defend faith-based education, they are intolerant. When they seek to uphold marriage, they are ‘right wing’ reactionaries.
It therefore comes as no surprise that Cardinal Keith O’Brien wants the Pope to ‘give Labour hell’.
Though it is probably now illegal to say politicians might go there.
But it is a very great pity that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not already called this anti-Christian Government to account, and reminded them that we Christians dwell in the same space as they, and that we have our ancient rights and liberties.
First, that we have granted to God, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired...
"There needs no Pope, my lord, come from Rome to tell us this."