23 March 2005
Time for a Christian revival?

Laban Tall throws a comment-grenade into my “NuLab ideology” trench:

I think the guilt [over being British] bit comes from the total collapse of Christianity (see Rowan Williams for full details).

For 1400 years we acknowledged our human frailty. ‘My sin is ever before me’.

We’ve binned that in a couple of generations in exchange for the basically hippy notion that man is perfectible (hence Sure Start schemes and social workers). But it’s too deep in the psyche to eradicate, and emerges in the form of

‘We are all racists, sexists, homophobes, natural polluters etc’.

On some areas (eg the environment) we’ve even got the lost primeval Eden.

Which is fairly deep stuff.  The implication being that we should all get back into church.

Even as an atheist I can see that Christianity shifts the goods and atheism doesn’t.  I regard the Industrial Revolution as the greatest thing to happen in world history.  And it happened in the West: the Christian West.  On the other hand I regard Hitler, Stalin and Mao as the worst things to happen in world history and they were all atheists.

Even today, as Mark Steyn keeps on pointing out, it is the more Christian parts of the West eg. the Red States, that are making the running while the more secular parts eg. Europe and the Blue states that are starting to croak.

This is not to imply a causal connection - I don’t know if one exists or not.  The real question is do I feel lucky?  Do I feel so sure that Christianity is redundant and that atheism’s failures are just bad luck that I am prepared to see Christianity jettisoned? Anwer: no.  Frankly, if comes down to a choice between listening to Ian Paisley and starvation it’s a fairly easy decision.

And it is for that reason that even a dyed-in-the-wool atheist like me is keen to preserve all that Christian stuff: bible study, oaths, Christmas and Easter and a whole bunch of other day-to-day stuff that is so familiar that you don’t even notice it.  Just don’t expect me to believe it.


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  1. It’s probably more that religious people are more content and settled with their own morality, and so don’t feel the need to re-invent the wheel with spurious victimologies, and the like. Which leaves them more time to get on with the real business of politics - oppressing the poor. wink

    And the exception that proves the rule: The C of E…

    Posted by Andrew on 23 March 2005 at 03:23pm

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