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Yesterday something remarkable happened. Bosco, our resident evangelical anti-Catholic stopped repeating his script and wrote:

No problem. I believe you. The world is like it is, no matter what we call it. We can jabber about it, but we cant do much to change it. Now, Europe has a immigrant problem. This is a game changer. The Europe of the 40s and 50s and even 60s is gone. Now its a shooting gallery, a killing field.Instead of being grateful, these muslims are running down the very people who let them in. Europe is in chaos. Trump is trying to keep them out of here, and that means the good ones with the bad ones. the good ones have to suffer because of the bad ones. Could this be the beginnings of Jacobs troubles? The muslims are raging all around Israel, but are largely leaving Israel alone. That is going to change.This is when Gods fury comes up in his face. I want out of here.

The old, shall we say, random spelling, and the same old script were both gone, and suddenly we saw something of the man behind the persona. There was enough of the old apocalyptic Bosco to stop me asking “who are you, and what have you done with Bosco?” – but the tone and content was serious. As well it might have been.

The Roman Empire into which Christianity was born was a civilization of license for the elite, and it has much in common with our own, except that here that license is for the many and not the few. We fail to reproduce at anything like the level needed to replace ourselves, and whilst the NHS spends millions on abortions, it also spends millions on IVF treatment, often for older women who have reached the age when their fertility was not what it was twenty years before. We do not join this up and suggest that ‘unwanted’ babies should be born and then matched to families who would want them; instead we kill them in the name of a ‘woman’s right to choose’, and in Europe at least, apart from some Christians, no one bats an eye-lid. For all the talk about ‘British values’, it seems that our school inspectors insist that gender ideology is taught in schools – or else. even Catholic schools adopt ‘gender neutral’ uniforms, despite the Pope himself, on this issue, speaking against the liberal tide. Dissent will, it seems, not be allowed.

Within this decadence, there are immigrant communities, some now in the third generation, who do have families, and who do have firm values based on their religion. When Bosco says that Muslims are ‘running down’ our society, I would qualify that by saying that what they are criticising is our decadence; many Christians would agree with the moderate Muslim critique that we have become a decadent society. A society which has no confidence in its own future, so does not reproduce, and which seeks it own pleasure first, and so aborts when convenient. That’s not to deny the hard cases, but it is to say they are very far from being the majority.

One of my youthful heroes was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who received great acclaim in the West during the late Cold War period because of his status as a dissident against the Soviet system. He fell out of  favour in the late 1970s when, in 1978, he delivered a stinging cruitique of Western decadence in an address at Harvard:

Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day. There is no open violence such as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to match mass standards frequently prevents independent-minded people from giving their contribution to public life.

A prophetic set of comments indeed. As an Orthodox Christian, Solzhenitsyn did not need to wonder what ‘values’ he supported, they were those formed by Christianity.

Many years before, in his The Idea of a Christian Society (1939), as well as other works, T.S. Eliot argued that the humanist attempt to form a non-Christian, “rational” civilization was doomed. “The experiment will fail,” he wrote, “but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the world from suicide.” He did not want society to be ruled by the church, only by Christian principles, with Christians being “the conscious mind and the conscience of the nation.” We are now well into that experiment, and it has failed. Only Christianity can redeem the times.