Thursday, March 03, 2011
Christianity isn’t dying in Britain; it’s being eradicated
It’s official: Britain is no longer a Christian nation. In banning Eunice and Owen Johns, a devout Christian couple, from fostering children, Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson declared that we live in a secular state, and that the Johns’ religious convictions disqualified them from raising citizens of that state.
We’ve outgrown Christianity, the judges professed. Instead, we have graduated to the status of a multicultural nation, blessed by a plurality of faiths.
Ironically, the justices who have pronounced that Britain is no longer Christian did so in a court where witnesses swear on the Bible and invoke God’s help in telling the truth. I do not imagine that these judges leave out the first word in “God Save the Queen” – nor would they shun an invitation to the Royal wedding, which is happening not at a registry office but the centrepiece of official Christendom, Westminster Abbey.
In taking part in these traditions, the judges – and the rest of us – are no different from past generations. For Christianity is not merely a part of life here, a provider of schools, hospitals and orphanages. It is the backbone of our laws, the impetus for the charity, justice and tolerance that have long been characteristic of this country. Its grand principles have inspired citizens to extraordinary actions, such as William Wilberforce’s campaign against slavery, and to ordinary kindnesses, such as reading to hospital patients or delivering meals on wheels.
When David Cameron speaks of our moral duty to our Arab brothers, or shares his vision for the Big Society, he taps not into narrow party allegiance, but into our common Christian heritage.
The Christians of an earlier era may not have known about multiculturalism, or predicted that it would be the signature tune of our times. Yet their faith gave them a moral imperative that demanded respect for others: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Without this moral underpinning, multiculturalism sags into a factionalism of competing demands and conflicting interests. Instead, the Gospel’s commandment inspires the Christian majority to accommodate Jewish, Muslim, atheist and Hindu minorities, without losing sight of the basic principle of mutual respect.
This, indeed, is one of the reasons why non-Christian believers are so passionate in wanting to protect Christianity as a presence in public life. Jews, like Muslims, recognise that while Christians – and especially Anglicans – may enjoy a special status, their faith embraces all people as made, and loved, by God. The Act of Succession, which bans us Catholics from the throne, makes me angry; but like all members of a religious minority, I feel safer in a culture that cherishes spiritual values than in one that rubbishes them.
So it is not just Christians that the ruling in the Johns case will alarm and unsettle. As the judges wagged their fingers about the secularist principles that, they claim, define the nation (and which “ought to be, but seemingly are not, well understood”), they were not describing the status quo: a strong majority of Britons still consider themselves to be Christian. Instead, they were making clear their desire to steer this country in a direction of their own choosing – one that matches the views of an increasingly strident group that is determined to scrub Christianity from public life.
Its efforts to push the majority faith underground are evident everywhere, from our bus stops to our workplaces. The British Humanist Association is campaigning to discourage “cultural Christians” from identifying themselves as believers in the forthcoming census. Jo Johnson, a Tory MP, wants to drop the prayer that traditionally opens Parliamentary sessions. Companies like BA forbid their Christian staff from wearing crosses to work. Schools and offices present Christian holidays as secular breaks. And now devout Christians are to be prevented from becoming foster parents.
According to our learned judges, “the aphorism that ‘Christianity is part of the common law of England’ is now mere rhetoric”. How excruciatingly unjust.
New generation infected by narcissism, says psychologist
An "epidemic of narcissism" has swept across the student population in the past 30 years, a US expert will tell a conference on personality disorders in Melbourne today.
Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, said a study she conducted of 16,000 university students across the US showed 30 per cent were narcissistic in psychological tests, compared with 15 per cent in 1982. "They are all 18 and 19-year-olds, so this is clearly a generational shift," she said.
Professor Twenge said the finding built on another study based on interviews with 35,000 people of varying ages, who were asked if they had ever had symptoms of narcissism.
"Usually the oldest people have the highest rates, because they have lived for more years, but this data showed the opposite," she said. Only 3 per cent of those over 65 had had symptoms, but for people in their 20s it was 10 per cent.
"These were shocking numbers because you can only diagnose this starting at age 18, so there weren't that many years for people in their 20s to develop this, yet their rate was three times as high as people over 65."
In a keynote address to the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders Congress, Professor Twenge will say that permissive parenting, celebrity culture and the internet are among the causes of the emerging narcissism epidemic.
She said telling children they were special to build self-esteem could foster narcissism.
Narcissists had an inflated sense of self, lacked empathy, were vain and materialistic and had an overblown sense of entitlement. Some resulting social trends were a greater interest in fame and wealth, more plastic surgery, and an increase in attention-seeking crimes - for example, "beating someone up and putting it on YouTube".
Professor Twenge was concerned about a culture "that seems to not just accept narcissism but finds it laudatory … It worries me, when I talk to college students, that they are not surprised at all that their generation is more narcissistic.
"They say, 'We have to be this way because the world is more competitive.' But the problem is that narcissism doesn't help you compete. It blows up in your face eventually."
She said narcissistic students tended to have poorer results and were more likely to drop out, probably because they thought they didn't have to study because they were already smart. "It's delusional thinking."
Leftist Australian Prime Minister hit by gay marriage rebellion from her own party
JULIA Gillard is facing a backbench rebellion over fears the government would support a Greens Bill that could enable gay marriage and legal euthanasia. Three senior MPs - Steve Hutchins, Don Farrell and John Hogg - confronted the Prime Minister yesterday to express concerns about the Greens' Bill.
Greens leader Bob Brown said his proposed law would make an Act of Parliament necessary for the Commonwealth to override legislation in the Northern Territory or the ACT. It would abolish ministerial vetoes.
The Herald Sun has been told the delegation, led by Mr Farrell, the so-called "Godfather" of the Labor Right, met Ms Gillard at 11.30am after the Greens claimed to have secured government support for the private member's Bill.
It is believed the PM said she had no knowledge of it and she would not back legal euthanasia. Treasurer Wayne Swan also told them he had no knowledge of the issue.
Angry Labor MPs yesterday said the issue had brought to a head amid growing concerns the Greens had too much influence on Government policy. "I just hope this is not a harbinger of what life will be like after July 1, when the Greens have control of the Senate," one concerned senior Labor MP said.
MPs also have privately criticised the PM's decision to introduce a carbon tax without consulting the full Labor caucus. Labor figures, particularly in outer city electorates, have been fielding "virulent" emails and phone calls from voters complaining of a "sellout" to the Greens. "People are really angry - they feel they've been deceived," a senior Labor MP said. "It's adding to a growing view out there that Labor is dominated by the Greens."
Labor MPs have also confessed to being "savaged" by irate voters over the carbon tax. Some said their offices had received abusive phone calls from people fearful over the impact of a carbon tax on family living costs. "One was pretty vicious," a Sydney MP said.
The West's Proxy War Against The Jews
It was a stunning moment of moral clarity. As the South Vietnamese refugees clambered onto rickety boats in the South China Sea to escape the victorious Communists, the American Left that orchestrated the US defeat through a sustained campaign of propaganda and fake calls for peace stood silent.
As Pol Pot, the "progressive" dictator tortured and murdered a third of his people in Cambodia, the leftists "peace" activists in the US and Europe who never saw a US military operation that was justified, turned a blind eye.
The silence of the likes of Susan Sontag, Jane Fonda, Noam Chomsky and their fellow travelers came to mind last week when the Western media and intellectual elites averted their gaze as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the long exiled spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood spoke before a crowd of millions at Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Qaradawi, who had been living in exile in Qatar during Hosni Mubarak's reign, became an international jihadist superstar thanks to Qatar's unelected potentate Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani who gave him his jihad indoctrination show on Al Jazeera. From his internationally televised soapbox, Qaradawi regularly preaches international jihad and genocide of Jewry to millions of fans worldwide.
Two important things happened during Qaradawi's appearance in Cairo. First, his handlers refused to allow Google's Egyptian Internet revolutionary Wael Ghonim to join the cleric on the dais. For anyone willing to notice, Qaradawi's message in spurning Ghonim was indisputable. As far as the jihadists are concerned, Ghonim and his fellow Internet activists are the present day equivalent of Lenin's useful idiots.
They did their job of convincing credulous Western liberals that the overthrow of Mubarak was all about sweetness and light. And now they are no longer needed.
The second message was Qaradawi's call to destroy Israel. With millions of adoring fans crying out "Amen," and "Allahu Akhbar," Qaradawi called for a Muslim conquest of Jerusalem - that is, for the destruction of Israel. As a first step, he demanded that the Egyptian military open the Egyptian border with Gaza.
In the dismal tradition of its Vietnam-era teachers, today's international Left had nothing to say about Qaradawi's genocidal speech. In the New York Times' write-up of Qaradawi's triumphant return to Egypt for instance, the murder-inciting cleric was referred to as a champion of democracy and pluralism.
Leftist writers like Peter Beinart have spent the better part of the past month whitewashing and belittling the significance of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The same Muslim Brotherhood that was founded in 1928 and got its first boost from the Nazis who funded their anti-Jewish pogroms in Cairo and Alexandria in 1939 is seen as nothing to worry about. US President Barack Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper assured Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is largely secular. This is the same Muslim Brotherhood whose motto is, "Allah is our objective; the prophet is our leader; the Koran is our law; Jihad is our way; Dying in the path of Allah is our goal."
THE SAME Left who champions Qaradawi as a liberal is absolutely adamant that the revolutions now raging throughout the Muslim world are a mere sideshow to the region's chief drama. The revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Oman, Morocco and Saudi Arabia are nothing. And the anti-regime protests in Iran have no strategic significance whatsoever to the West, which is mortally threatened by the mullocracy.
Who cares if the Arabs are ruled by tyrants, democrats, jihadists, or fascists? The only thing that matters is that "Palestine" is free of Israeli "occupation."
How can anyone get excited about the future of the oil-dependent global economy when Jews still reside in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem?
The Left's essential indifference to the plight of hundreds of millions of Arabs and its significance for the West was exposed in a news analysis by Brendan O'Neill in The Australian on February 16. O'Neill noted that whereas the demonstrators in Cairo were fairly silent on the issue of the Palestinians, anti-Mubarak demonstrations throughout the West prominently featured anti-Israel slogans and chants of "Free, free Palestine!"
O'Neill concluded that the contrasting messages, "reveals something important about the Palestine issue.... [It] has become less important for Arabs and of the utmost symbolic importance for Western radicals at exactly the same time."
Actually, it is important to Western leftists and jihadists, which is why the Palestinians only became a salient issue in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood began taking control over the opposition movement with Qaradawi's sermon on February 18.
IN A groundbreaking study of the propaganda war against Israel entitled "The Big Lie and the Media War against Israel: From Inversion of Truth to Inversion of Reality," published in Jewish Political Studies Review in March 2007, Joel Fishman showed that the Muslim Brotherhood's propaganda war against Israel, like the Left's propaganda war against Israel, relied heavily on Nazi propaganda against Jews.
The early partnership between the Brotherhood and the Nazis, brought together by Palestinian Arab leader and Nazi agent Haj Amin el Husseini imported European anti-Semitism to the Muslim world. Beginning in the early 1950s, Nazi war criminals immigrated to Egypt. There they recreated much of Josef Goebbels' anti-Semitic propaganda operation for Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Fishman also documented how in the aftermath of World War II, and particularly after Israel's victory in the Six Day War, the Soviets adapted Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda to demonize Israel as the new, collective Jew and in turn demonize the collective Jew as the new Nazi Germany.
Two sources fed the Soviet anti-Jewish/anti-Zionist propaganda machine: former Nazi propagandists in Egypt; and former Nazi propagandists employed by the East German Communist regime. According to Fishman, the messages developed by these ex-Nazi propagandists were the basis for the Soviet campaign to delegitimize Israel which began in earnest after 1967. The call to arms was published first in a Pravda editorial in October 1967. There, Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement was reviled as dedicated to "genocide, racism, treachery, aggression, and annexation...all characteristic attributes of fascists."
With both the Soviets and the Arabs spewing the same inverted message, it didn't take long for it to become the rage in Europe. Europe's adoption of the Nazi-inspired propaganda in which reality was inverted and Israel - the victim of Arab imperialist, genocidal aggression - became the imperialist, genocidal aggressor was facilitated by France's embrace of the Arab camp after its withdrawal from Algeria and effective withdrawal from NATO.
By 1975, with the UN General Assembly's adoption of the Soviet-Arab sponsored resolution 3379 defining Zionism as racism, most European governments had fallen in line with the Soviet-Arab propaganda war. They in turn spent the next generation bringing their message to America.
TODAY, THAT message has become the sum total of Europe's Middle East policy. From their massive global funding of anti-Israel NGOs, to their financing of anti-Zionist films, plays, art exhibitions and educational curricula throughout the world and their bankrolling of the Palestinian Authority, the Europeans have put their money where their mouths and well-washed brains are.
AND THIS brings us back to 1975, to the boat people in the South China Sea, the killing fields in Cambodia, and the Left that couldn't care less about them.
It could be argued that the Bill Ayres, Howard Zinns and Jean Paul Sartes of the world can be forgiven for their decision to side with the Soviets and their Third World proxies against the US and the Western alliance. After all, they had nothing personal at stake. The Soviets were not threatening their freedom. And what did they owe to "unprogressive," "reactionary" people from Southeast Asia who agreed with America that Communism was evil and wished to be free?
But the situation is different today. By waging its war against Israel through Palestinian proxies, the West threatens itself. The Nazi propaganda recycled by the Soviets which has enslaved the peoples of Europe and much of America's intellectual elite has not only turned them into willing participants in the new war against the Jews. It has turned them into instruments for their own destruction.
By focusing their attention entirely on Israel and its imaginary crimes, the Europeans and their American admirers ignore the fact that the Islamic war against Israel is itself a proxy war for global jihad.
That war, informed by the same Nazi propaganda, but refined through the prism of Islamic Jew hatred and totalitarian imperialism, does not see Israel's destruction as its ultimate aim. The jihadists, whom the West so happily ignores and whitewashes, have made it absolutely clear that destroying Israel is but the first skirmish in their great war. Their ultimate aim is the conquest of what remains of Western civilization.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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