Catholic Democrats, Pro-choice Catholics, Catholic Feminists and Catholic Socialists: all of these are a contradiction of terms.

Let’s test your virtue of patience with this one. Can you set aside an hour and a half to find out why? You can either be Catholic or you can be a modern Democrat, socialist, pro-choice advocate or feminist but you can’t be both at the same time. You are either one or the other but not both. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did. __ Scoop

Armistice Day

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first Armistice Day: 11/11/18. The guns fell silent; the fighting was over. There would be treaties to conclude and exchanges to be made; but for the soldiers, 11am came as a time of relief and reflection. 100 years on from that momentous day, families around the world can think about how their ancestors played some part in the Great War.

This war was truly monstrous in its scope: fighting took place on different fronts; empires drew in their colonies and dominions; and the extended trench warfare became a hell that no-one had expected at the beginning of the conflict. Truly, this war changed the world: it finished the Belle Époque and spawned a new generation of Nietzsche’s descendants: nihilists and existentialists.

Left with the question, “What were we fighting for?”, it robbed many of the truth that sometimes wars must be fought. It is my hope that in the reflection on the senselessness of WWI, people will not forget that Allied soldiers in WWII gave their lives for an important cause: to destroy the Nazis and Imperial Japan; to vindicate the principle of human dignity; and to protect their families and friends from vicious onslaught.

WWI destroyed the old order of Europe: triggered by a complex set of alliances and imperialist ambitions, it ended the ruling power of the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, and Romanovs. All people paid for the folly of this war. The soldiers suffered appalling conditions at the front, hurt by disruptions to supply lines and wounded by appalling weapons such as mustard gas. At home, civilians worked in the munitions factories and saw their own means of living cut short as naval warfare disrupted trade. By the end of the war, families in Germany were mixing sawdust with flour to make bread. Once the war had ended, people were then subjected to the dreaded Spanish flu, causing somewhere between 50 and 100 million deaths.

On this day of reflection, as we think about the soldiers, it is important to remember that many never came home. Their families had that awful loss added to the other suffering set out above. Children grew up who had barely known their fathers; wives were left to remarry or remain widows, haunted by the memory of their husbands’ deaths. Some gave their lives heroically, trying to protect their fellow soldiers or helpless civilians. Others simply fell in action or were carried off by diseases that thrived in the unsanitary conditions of the trenches.

Such trying conditions made it hard for a man to remember his humanity, but these men somehow carried on. It is true that there were outbreaks of mutiny, but the overall picture is one of perseverance and insight. The famous Christmas Day football match of 1914 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce) allowed soldiers on both sides to see the humanity in each other and know, however silently, that most of them were not in favour of pointless aggression. This war, for all the initial fervour of joining up, was not a people’s war. It was a politicians’ war, brought on by ties of honour and the perceived need to protect national interests.

As I bring this post to a close, mindful that it is impossible to do justice to the memory of the fallen and the survivors in so few words, I would like to leave you with this thought. Our ancestors struggled through a terrible situation: some lost their faith, while others kept it. They are an example to us that amidst all the rage, which they must have felt towards their political leaders and those of the other side, we must keep a calm head, we must not let our own anger eclipse the vision and compassion of Christ. As you look through all the poems and songs that reflect on the Great War today, I invite you to look at one that pre-dated it, Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, and see if you can see some glimmer of light that made it through that dreadful conflict.

 

 

Two accounts that will be ignored by almost everyone: cultural genocide and cultural suicide is now commonplace

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What do these two stories have in common? It is the cultural genocide and suicide of Western European Civilization and the genocide and suicide of a 2000 year old Roman Catholic identity.

Between the UN, the EU, MasterCard and George Soros, the genocide gets its funding for this extermination of cultures. What was tried successfully by the Catholics was suicide of their 2000 year old culture and the world’s elites have now set their sights on Western Civilization itself.

Bergoglio is not only a participant but a cheerleader in the destruction of  both. Anyone who does not get this is bound to wake up far too late to put a stop to it.

Read more below and let’s open our eyes to what these last 50 years have brought us. Like frogs in water slowly going from tepid to boiling, we have been stroked and cajoled to believe our political and religious elites and now we are at the breaking point. In fact, it may be too late already. But just so you are aware, I offer the following two stories for your education. __ Scoop

http://whatisupwiththesynod.com/index.php/2018/11/08/raped-a-man-attacked-police-demanded-the-state-give-him-a-wife-pakistani-judged-a-psychopath/

https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4194-the-modernist-takeover-of-the-catholic-church-cultural-genocide-or-suicide

SUGGESTION: If you haven’t done so already, every man and woman of integrity should destroy their MasterCards and replace them with another credit card. If you have MasterCard in your portfolio, you should divest yourself of any said holdings. These people are evil. I, for one will not participate in their genocide. __ Scoop

The Mid-terms: Symbol of a Deeper Fraction

The US mid-terms this year are very important for the future prosperity of America and the world. Think I’m wrong? Persuade me otherwise. The victory of the Republicans is important not only for the effect it will have on power and control, but as a symbol of the perseverance and existence of conservative, “normal” people in the USA and the Western world. This is not to say that one should always vote Republican or that all Democrats are unprincipled (or all Republicans virtuous). Nevertheless, the stark contrasts between the two halves of American society and the need to preserve the Republic that was handed down by the Founders require voters to make a tactical choice to defend themselves and the future of their descendants.

The Democrats in their espousal of leftist causes have drifted away from their roots: 18th and 19th century politicians would not recognise them, nor indeed would early 20th century Democrats. Were some of the latter alive today, they would probably be Republicans or Independents. The threat that this leftism poses is grave and affects the following areas:

  • Education;
  • Civil order;
  • Free speech;
  • Religion;
  • Economic progress;
  • Public health;
  • International security;
  • Freedom of conscience;
  • Integrity of the family; and
  • The sanctity of life.

The consequences of failure in these areas will affect not only America, but the world as a whole. A weak America allows unscrupulous foreign governments to exploit not only their own citizens, but the peoples of other nations. The comforts that we take for granted in the West today are all powered by one means or another and until the day when we are weaned off foreign oil and foreign uranium, policing of the seas will remain an important issue. Should some exploitative nation take the mantle of “World’s Policeman” from America, the oil will still flow, but it will cost us all more – and not only in comfort. The generosity of America and her allies, an imperfect but persevering hegemony, allows us all a greater deal of freedom in our political choices than we might enjoy under the aegis of a tyrannical nation. One has only to look at the history of nations dominated by the USSR to see the consequences of an American eclipse.

Education

Education is, to a great extent, in the hands of the government, Federal and State. Even in non-state schools of various stripes, the requirements of the government are seen in the form of strict curriculum rules. These rules in the hands of an extremist leftist government could compel schools to teach revisionist versions of history, non-gendered versions of biology and psychology, and anti-Christian versions of civics and religious instruction. These musings are no longer the province of the “reds under the beds” brigade; they are no longer the vapours of paranoia. Such controls are introduced by increments – and have already been introduced – until a point when a sufficient mass has accumulated to empower a final push to eliminate all forms of conservative, traditionalist, and classical liberal thought. Teachers who espouse such views will be frightened to speak in classrooms for fear of criminal prosecution or dismissal. In a world dominated by leftists, employment law would be altered to permit “fair dismissal on grounds of hate speech, etc”.

It is not for the teachers that I fear, however – important though their plight is. It is for children and parents. A continuing leftist trend will make it hard for many children to learn to think independently and for parents to support them. Imagine a world where  children are taken from their parents by social services on grounds of religious or political brainwashing. Think it will never happen? In the UK, people who foster children have had their applications scrutinised because of their traditional view about homosexuality (https://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/fostering/eunice-and-owen-johns-council-reinstate-application). From such beginnings, worse things can grow.

Education is vitally important: it affects all areas of life. As the state continues to grow, it will continue to erode the possibility of home-schooling one’s children, while opposition to vouchers and interference in Christian faith-schools could blunt their outreach to poorer families. This is not to say that people cannot break from the propaganda: the phrase “taking the red pill” (a reference to The Matrix and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” in his Republic) is popular all over the internet. Nevertheless, for people who are not accustomed to thinking for themselves, shifting out of the leftist narrative is difficult. An education system that denies children counterpoints to its ideology will keep many in the dark, and increased censorship on social media and other parts of the internet could make access to independent material harder.

___

The brief space of a post prohibits a greater discussion of this matter, but I invite comments and subsequent posts exploring the other areas affected by our current political strife. The mid-terms will not resolve everything in a day, but they are crucial as a step to prevent any more expansions by a hostile state. The work of the President to reduce the “Deep State”, and bureaucracy and legalism in general, requires co-operation from the legislature on some matters. It is important to vote for candidates who will protect the liberties of American citizens.

Did Augustine Advocate for Forced Conversions? It Appears so, But Does Jesus?

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The other day, I was having a very fruitful conversation with a gentleman on what I would label it as more or less epistemology and morality. In that particular discussion, the gentleman revealed that St. Augustine of Hippo is cited to have expressed the idea of forced conversions in regards to the Donatist. I have read quite a bit of Augustine’s own work and studied his biography, at least in comparison to the average layperson, so I was a bit surprised at the accusation against Augustine in regards to the Donatist.

Augustine’s written work is quite vast, so much so that I once heard a professor quip, “If anyone has ever said they have read all of Augustine…they are a liar. So I admitted that it’s very possible I just haven’t encountered Augustine’s thought on the matter in a particular document. Again, what struck me odd about the accusation is that the celebrated works of Augustine against the Donatist is his ten homilies on the first letter of St. John. In those works, Augustine illuminated in the conflict what the writer in that particular letter did which is “God is love.” It would be much to my surprise in comparison to that body of work that in another body of work that Augustine should then insist on forced conversion.

(I also think it should be wise at this point to define what is meant by forced conversions, which I would characterize as coercive measures as loss of life, freedom, and property. In regards to being converted by weight of theological ideas—as the Donatist were already Christians– such as Hell, I do not consider that to be a forced conversion.)

The gentleman sent a link from a website which did not cite that particular source from it claimed that Augustine spoke about compelling the Donatist. Nonetheless, it appears that Augustine of Hippo did advocate for forced conversions. My research has led me to a document of collected works called: A Treatise Concerning the Correction of the Donatist. In that particular document, there is a letter that I’ve read several paragraphs in which it doesn’t seem to be taking out of context that Augustine advocated for forced conversions:

19. But as to the argument of those men who are unwilling that their impious deeds should be checked by the enactment of righteous laws, when they say that the apostles never sought such measures from the kings of the earth, they do not consider the different character of that age, and that everything comes in its own season. For what emperor had as yet believed in Christ, so as to serve Him in the cause of piety by enacting laws against impiety, when as yet the declaration of the prophet was only in the course of its fulfillment, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and their rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed;” and there was as yet no sign of that which is spoken a little later in the same psalm: “Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” How then are kings to serve the Lord with fear, except by preventing and chastising with religious severity all those acts which are done in opposition to the commandments of the Lord? For a man serves God in one way in that he is man, in another way in that he is also king. In that he is man, he serves Him by living faithfully; but in that he is also king, he serves Him by enforcing with suitable rigor such laws as ordain what is righteous, and punish what is the reverse. Even as Hezekiah served Him, by destroying the groves and the temples of the idols, and the high places which had been built in violation of the commandments of God;2or even as Josiah served Him, by doing the same things in his turn; or as the king of the Ninevites served Him, by compelling all the men of his city to make satisfaction to the Lord;4or as Darius served Him, by giving the idol into the power of Daniel to be broken, and by casting his enemies into the den of lions; or as Nebuchadnezzar served Him, of whom I have spoken before, by issuing a terrible law to prevent any of his subjects from blaspheming God.6In this way, therefore, kings can serve the Lord, even in so far as they are kings, when they do in His service what they could not do were they not kings.

 

  1. Seeing, then, that the kings of the earth were not yet serving the Lord in the time of the apostles, but were still imagining vain things against the Lord and against His Anointed, that all might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, it must be granted that at that time acts of impiety could not possibly be prevented by the laws, but were rather performed under their sanction. For the order of events was then so rolling on, that even the Jews were killing those who preached Christ, thinking that they did God service in so doing, just as Christ had foretold, and the heathen were raging against the Christians, and the patience of the martyrs was overcoming them all. But so soon as the fulfillment began of what is written in a later psalm, “All kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him,”8what sober-minded man could say to the kings, “Let not any thought trouble you within your kingdom as to who restrains or attacks the Church of your Lord; deem it not a matter in which you should be concerned, which of your subjects may choose to be religious or sacrilegious,” seeing that you cannot say to them, “Deem it no concern of yours which of your subjects may choose to be chaste, or which unchaste?” For why, when free-will is given by God to man, should adulteries be punished by the laws, and sacrilege allowed? Is it a lighter matter that a soul should not keep faith with God, than that a woman should be faithless to her husband? Or if those faults which are committed not in contempt but in ignorance of religious truth are to be visited with lighter punishment, are they therefore to be neglected altogether?

 

Chapter 6

 

  1. It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word. Some, indeed, set before us the sentiments of a certain secular author, who said,

“’Tis well, I ween, by shame the young to train, And dread of meanness, rather than by pain.”

This is unquestionably true. But while those are better who are guided aright by love, those are certainly more numerous who are corrected by fear. For, to answer these persons out of their own author, we find him saying in another place,

“Unless by pain and suffering thou art taught,

Thou canst not guide thyself aright in aught.”

 

But, moreover, holy Scripture has both said concerning the former better class, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear;” and also concerning the latter lower class, which furnishes the majority, “A servant will not be corrected by words; for though he understand, he will not answer.”4In saying, “He will not be corrected by words,” he did not order him to be left to himself, but implied an admonition as to the means whereby he ought to be corrected; otherwise he would not have said, “He will not be corrected by words,” but without any qualification, “He will not be corrected.” For in another place he says that not only the servant, but also the undisciplined son, must be corrected with stripes, and that with great fruits as the result; for he says, “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell;” and elsewhere he says, “He that spareth the rod hateth his son.”6For, give us a man who with right faith and true understanding can say with all the energy of his heart, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” and for such an one there is no need of the terror of hell, to say nothing of temporal punishments or imperial laws, seeing that with him it is so indispensable a blessing to cleave unto the Lord, that he not only dreads being parted from that happiness as a heavy punishment, but can scarcely even bear delay in its attainment. But yet, before the good sons can say they have “a desire to depart, and to be with Christ,”8many must first be recalled to their Lord by the stripes of temporal scourging, like evil slaves, and in some degree like good-for-nothing fugitives.[1]

It’s interesting to note that Augustine did speak of the “argument of those men” who claimed that the Apostles didn’t look for the “state” to incite forced conversions. It appears that in the letter Augustine looks to prove his case by looking through the Old Testament and finding where Jewish Kings use coercive measures. However, as Augustine is a Christian, it would seem much more prudent to look to the message of Jesus Christ, whom he professes is God.

Now those who wish to claim that Jesus makes some sort of comments to support violent measures will often cite: Luke 22:36 and Mt. 10:34. However, it appears in the context that both are symbolic in regard to the context of what Jesus is saying those particular passages. For example, in Luke 22:36, Christ says:

36 ¶ He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. [2]

In this particular passage of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is likening himself to Isaiah’s Suffering Servant in Is. 53:12. However, as the Apostles’ take him literally by saying “here are two swords,” Christ’s indication that is “good enough” is as Theophylact claims “Very well, leave it” because they did not understand his meaning.

In Matthew 10:34-38, the context of his meaning is a bit more clear as he is speaking to the division caused by his overall message:

34 ¶“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37 ¶ He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. [3]

So, Jesus’ message causes division. Naturally, this would be the case if one claims to have the truth and to be the truth (John 14:6). However, Jesus doesn’t seem to indicate the need for violent coercion for believing in his message. Mark 12:29-34 he teaches that one should love their neighbor as themselves. It is in Lk 10:29 that we find that our neighbor is those who are in need of our mercy regardless of their affiliation. In Mark 10:22, after Jesus proposes that the Rich Young Man give up all his possessions and the young man responded by leaving, Jesus allows him to depart:
22 At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. [4]

John chapter 6:65-66 also indicates when disciples stop believing in his message are allowed to depart from his presence:

 

65 ¶ And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him. 67 Jesus said to the Twelve, “Will you also go away?”[5]

 

Time and Time again, Jesus proposes; doesn’t impose, and allows people to leave and go back to their everyday lives. In fact, Jesus implies in the parable of Wheat and Tares that it isn’t the job of those here to remove the tares as they may uproot the wheat with them, but rather it is reserved for the day of judgment.

So, what about the Catholic Church? During the Vatican II council and during the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II, it appears that the Church saw the error to the common phrase of more traditional-minded Catholics “error has no right.” Pope John Paul II wrote in On the Value and Content of Freedom of Conscience and of Religion:

3. The Catholic Church has synthesized her thinking on this subject in the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration, Dignitatis humanae, promulgated on December 7, 1965, a document which places the Apostolic See under a special obligation.

This declaration had been preceded by Pope John XXIII’s Encyclical, Pacem in terris, dated April 11, 1963, which solemnly emphasized the fact that everyone has “the right to be able to worship God in accordance with the right dictates of his conscience.”

The same declaration of the Second Vatican Council was then taken up again in various documents of Pope Paul VI, in the 1974 Synod of Bishops’ message, and more recently in the message to the United Nations Organization during the papal visit on October 2, 1979, which repeats it essentially: “In accordance with their dignity, all human beings, because they are persons, that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and, therefore, bearing a personal responsibility, are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and to direct their whole lives in accordance with its demands” (Dignitatis humanae, no. 2). “The practice of religion by its very nature consists primarily of those voluntary and free internal acts by which a human being directly sets his course towards God. No merely human power can either command or prohibit acts of this kind. But man’s social nature itself requires that he give external expression to his internal acts of religion, that he communicate with others in religious matters and that he profess his religion in community” (Dignitatis humanae, no. 3).

“These words,” the UN address added, “touch the very substance of the question. They also show how even the confrontation between the religious view and the agnostic or even atheistic view of the world, which is one of the ‘signs of the times’ of the present age, could preserve honest and respectful human dimensions without violating the essential rights of conscience of any man or woman living on earth” (Address to the 34th General Assembly of the United Nations, no. 20).

On the same occasion, the conviction was expressed that “respect for the dignity of the human person would seem to demand that, when the exact tenor of the exercise of religious freedom is being discussed or determined with a view to national laws or international conventions, the institutions that are by their nature at the service of religion should also be brought in.” This is because, when religious freedom is to be given substance, if the participation of those most concerned in it and who have special experience of it and responsibility for it is omitted, there is a danger of setting arbitrary norms of application and of “imposing, in so intimate a field of man’s life, rules or restrictions that are opposed to his true religious needs” (Address to the UN 34th General Assembly, no. 20).[6]

6. The Catholic Church is not confined to a particular territory and she has no geographical borders; her members are men and women of all regions of the world. She knows, from many centuries of experience, that suppression, violation or restriction of religious freedom have caused suffering and bitterness, moral and material hardship, and that even today there are millions of people enduring these evils. By contrast, the recognition, guarantee and respect of religious freedom bring serenity to individuals and peace to the social community; they also represent an important factor in strengthening a nation’s moral cohesion, in improving people’s common welfare, and in enriching the cooperation among nations in an atmosphere of mutual trust.

In addition, the wholesome implementation of the principle of religious freedom will contribute to the formation of citizens who, in full recognition of the moral order, “will be obedient to lawful authority and be lovers of true freedom; people, in other words, who will come to decisions on their own judgment, and, in the light of truth, govern their activities with a sense of responsibility, and strive after what is true and right, willing always to join with others in cooperative effort” (Dignitatis humanae, no. 8).

Now, as admitted, I’ve not read everything by Augustine, so if anyone wants to correct me on this particular reading on his work feel free to do so. Augustine did write retractions, so perhaps he may have retracted these statements. I see blog posts as a forum to discuss and discover the truth.

 

[1]Augustine of Hippo, “A Treatise Concerning the Correction of the Donatists,” inSt. Augustin: The Writings against the Manichaeans and against the Donatists, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. J. R. King, vol. 4, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887), 640–641.

[2]The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), Lk 22:36.

[3]The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), Mt 10:34–39.

[4]The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), Mk 10:21–22.

[5]The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), Jn 6:65–67.

[6]https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/messages/pont_messages/1980/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_19800901_helsinki-act.html

Hatred of the Past

Modernism with its revolt against tradition has become increasingly harsh in its criticisms of the past, in particular the Victorian and medieval periods. Why these two periods? Because they serve as symbols for the might of temporal Christendom, now much diminished. The medieval period saw the Crusaders wrest control of Israel from Muslim hands and hold it for an extended period. The Franks in particular have become the objects of a kind of sacred memory as they are honoured for their contributions to the Crusader armies and, before that, for the victory of Charles the Hammer over Muslim armies at the Battle of Tours in AD 732. As for the Victorians, the height of the British and French empires allowed missionaries to penetrate into the heart of territories that had either almost forgotten Christianity or had never known it.

We can, of course, explore these themes in depth and develop a more rounded picture. Such triumphalist rhetoric is just that – rhetoric. War and imperialism are not the stuff of Christianity: Christ was crucified by soldiers – He did not command them. Nevertheless, attempts by revisionists to strip our ancestors of their virtue are misguided. No one is claiming that our ancestors were all saints, devoid of sin. They made mistakes and they committed terrible acts of brutality. But they also were defenders and inquirers after truth and justice. Europe had a right to defend itself from the armies of the caliphate, and the Crusades were provoked by incursions against the Eastern Roman Empire and attacks on pilgrims. The Victorians put a stop to barbarous practices in the lands they conquered and established courts of law whose traditions are still observed today with varying degrees of fidelity.

The Victorians are also reviled for their “hypocrisy” (particularly as regards sexual mores) as if this were a vice confined to them or at its height under their aegis. Neither proposition is true: each age has its own expressions of hypocrisy and inconsistency. Why today the term “champagne socialist” has such currency as would scarcely be believed during the Cold War, when Russia and China were “the Enemy”. Such cardboard cut-outs fail to accurately represent historical reality – nations may follow broad patterns, but they are composed of individuals with individual motives and knowledge.

All the same, we continue to witness a hatred of the past in both secular and Christian contexts. This hatred calls for an apologia in response, a defence of the things our ancestors got right: their attitudes and their actions. Account must also be taken of particular circumstances that affected their times. The Victorians lived through the industrial revolution; they pioneered a route that was followed by the Americans, the Germans, and the French: there was no rule-book, no list of maxims, handed down to teach them how to handle the social and material shifts of that time. Nevertheless, with all their mistakes, they rose to the challenge: Disraeli propounded social legislation; the churches thundered about the plight of the poor; and the wealthy responded with philanthropy. Unlike the ostentations of Greco-Roman benefactors, who acted for prestige, many of the Victorian philanthropists were motivated by true Christian love that was taught across the denominations. The Catholics preached the legacy of Catholicism in the form of medieval hospitals, universities, and travelling ministries (friars). The Anglicans drew on their pre-industrial experience running parochial outreach. The Dissenters followed the Spirit’s fire of evangelism: they preached to the poor and learned from them what it means to be poor. The austerity of Queen Victoria herself, particularly in her grief, also served as an example, a source of shame regarding former associations of debauchery and indulgence surrounding our 18th and 17th century monarchs.

The past has much to teach us and we should all have regard for the things we have lost, be they secular, liturgical, aesthetic, or supernatural. As a parting suggestion, I encourage you to listen to some medieval folk music: for example, “Mirie it is while sumer ilast”.