Monday, February 13, 2006

I'd be sorry, too

The young man who is called upon to repent of England's foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbour; for a Foreign Secretary or a Cabinet Minister is certainly a neighbour. And repentance presupposes condemnation. The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing - but, first, of denouncing - the conduct of others. If it were clear to the young that this is what he is doing, no doubt he would remember the law of charity. Unfortunately the very terms in which national repentance is recommended to him conceal its true nature. By a dangerous figure of speech, he calls the Government not `they' but `we'. And since, as penitents, we are not encouraged to be charitable to our own sins, nor to give ourselves the benefit of any doubt, a Government which is called `we' is ipso facto placed beyond the sphere of charity or even of justice. You can say anything you please about it. You can indulge in the popular vice of detraction without restraint, and yet feel all the time that you are practising contrition.
— C.S. Lewis, The Dangers of National Repentance, 1940 [suggested by a comment by Natalie Solent at The Daily Ablution]
One of the curious aspects of the modern West is the striving of its largest Protestant churches to be as inoffensive as possible to secular or, dare I say it, muslim sensbilities, according to the audience at the time. In doing so, their public pronouncements bear so little resemblance to Christian thinking that they should not wonder at their declining memberships. The Anglican Church in Britain, for one, might consider the texts of its foremost apologist, C.S. Lewis — an excellent place for them to start would be the above cited essay and The Abolition of Man. Reflection on these alone might save them from some of the excesses described in the Telegraph:
Church of England harvest festival services could soon expect worshippers not only to thank God for an abundant crop but also to repent for sins against the environment and for oppression and inequality.

Congregations which traditionally gather around piles of bread, fruit and vegetables to sing "We plough the fields and scatter" will be asked to acknowledge their "selfishness in not sharing the earth's bounty fairly". They may also apologise for "our failure to protect resources for others" and for "inequality and oppression in the earth".

[…] During Rogationtide, which marks the blessing of the land, worshippers will be asked to pray to "free the exploited and oppressed" and long for "a harvest of justice, Lord we pray". One section reads: "For all those who depend on the earth for their daily food and fuel, whose forests are destroyed for the profit of a few, Lord we pray…

"For those who labour in poverty, are oppressed by unjust laws, are prevented from speaking the truth."

A Church spokesman said the prayers "reflected the reality of the global economy in which people recognised the need for fair trade and justice for everybody who produces our food. These are all suggested outlines for use with services that already exist."
Via the Daily Ablution, who continues in a post called Church of England: We're Sorry (Again):
The same month saw an injunction that the clergy be discouraged from conducting cremations, on the grounds that … can you possibly guess? On the grounds that cremations release unacceptable levels of greenhouse gases.

This was followed shortly thereafter — in February of 2005 — with recommendations that organic bread and wine be used at Holy Communion, that church fêtes concentrate on selling fairly traded products, and that the Church adopt "creation care prayers", which now no doubt accompany the heartfelt apologies for inequality and selfishness. In addition, according to the Independent:
"Christians will be asked to praise the work of the Body Shop which is described as a 'brave exception' for getting people to consider the ethics of their shopping choices."
It's unclear whether this "praise" would take the form of a special Body Shop hymn, an addendum to the Book of Common Prayer ("give us this day our jojoba extra rich night cream, and deliver us from wrinkles") or earth-toned liturgical banners bearing iconography of Anita Roddick…
HT: Damian Penny

I daresay that the Church of England would avert their cowed and empty eyes from their compatriot Owls Aren't Wise. They would certainly never have the audacity to say something like this:
Whenever the Left champions a cause, I look. I look closely. They usually do it for reasons that are obscure and darkened, camouflaged against the searchlights of Reason.

One such cause is being 'Gay', homosexuality.

Look. And look for the inevitable inconsistencies. Such as:
"Being Gay is involuntary." (No moral consequence)
"We must allow Gay marriage." (Moral consequence)
"We must promote Gay rights." (Moral consequences for people who aren't even involved)
And so on. I'm sure you can think of other examples if you put your mind to it.

But you see that, the more they claim that homosexuality is not a matter of choice, the more they insist on the recognitions usually associated with choice.
I'd quote the whole thing, but I'm sure that somewhere under Canadian law it must somehow constitute a "hate crime" — the hateful and criminal thing being the contesting of the dogmas of certain political agendas posing as truths. Read the rest here…

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