Secularism and Religion

Many here are aware that the basis of western civilization is in our Judeo-Christian heritage. Often we merely assert this, since we have known it all our lives, but it can be examined fruitfully.

I admire Melanie Phillips greatly because not only is she a very good writer and speaker, she is fully capable of thinking through things. And she does so here. Yes, this is a long read, but I think you’ll find it valuable to read the whole thing.

It has become the orthodoxy in the West that freedom, human rights and reason all derive from secularism and that the greatest threat to all these good things is religion.

I want to suggest that the opposite is true. In the service of this orthodoxy, the West is undermining and destroying the very values which it holds most dear as the defining characteristics of a civilised society.

In truth, in the United States, we don’t hear it explicitly very often, but in Britain, it is quite common in my experience. Not to mention very strident, not only from the secularists, but from Randians, and other assorted libertine groups.

Some of this hostility is being driven by the perceived threat from Islamic terrorism and the Islamisation of Western culture. However, this animus against religion has far deeper roots and can be traced back to what is considered the birthplace of Western reason, the 18th-century Enlightenment.

Actually, it goes back specifically to the French Enlightenment. In England and Scotland, the Enlightenment developed reason and political liberty within the framework of Biblical belief. In France, by contrast, anti-clericalism morphed into fundamental hostility to Christianity and to religion itself.

“Ecrasez l’infame,” said Voltaire (crush infamy) — the infamy to which he referred being not just the Church but Christianity, which he wanted to replace with the religion of reason, virtue and liberty, “drawn from the bosom of nature”.

[…] Instead of God producing heaven on earth, it would be mankind which would bring that about. Reason would create the perfect society and “progress” was the process by which utopia would be attained.

Far from utopia, however, this thinking resulted in something more akin to hell on earth. For the worship of man through reason led straight to totalitarianism. It was reason that would redeem religious superstition and bring about the kingdom of Man on earth. And just like medieval apocalyptic Christian belief, this secular doctrine would also be unchallengeable and heretics would be punished. This kind of fanaticism infused the three great tyrannical movements that were spun out of Enlightenment thinking: the French Revolution, Communism and Fascism. […]

In the Sixties, the baby-boomer generation bought heavily into the idea propounded by Herbert Marcuse and other Marxist radicals that the way to transform the West lay not through the seizure of political or economic control but through the transformation of the culture. This has been achieved over the past half century through what has been called a “long march through the institutions”, the infiltration into all the institutions of the culture — the universities, media, professions, politics, civil service, churches — of ideas that would then become the orthodoxy.

From multiculturalism to environmentalism, from post-nationalism to “human rights” doctrine, Western progressives have fixated upon universalising ideas which reject values anchored in the particulars of religion or culture. All that matters is a theoretical future in which war, want and prejudice will be abolished: the return of fallen humanity to a lost Eden. And like all utopian projects, which are by definition impossible and unattainable, these dogmas are enforced through coercion: bullying, intimidation, character assassination, professional and social exclusion.

The core doctrine is equality. Not the Biblical doctrine that every human being is owed equal respect because they are formed in the image of God: equality has been redefined as identicality, the insistence that there can be no hierarchy of values of lifestyles or cultures. There can no longer be different outcomes depending on different circumstances or how people behave. To differentiate at all is to be bigoted and on a fast track back to fascism and war.

So the married family was kicked off its perch. Sexual restraint was abolished. The formerly transgressive became normative. Education could no longer transmit a culture down through the generations but had to teach that the Western nation was innately racist and exploitative.

Subjective trumped objective. There was no longer any absolute truth. Everyone could arbitrate their own truth. That way bigotry and prejudice would be excised from the human heart, the oppressed of the developing world would be freed from their Western oppressors and instead of the Western nation there would be the brotherhood of man.

All this was done in name of freedom, reason and enlightenment and in opposition to religion, the supposed source of oppression, irrationality and obscurantism.

At the heart of it was an onslaught against the moral codes of Christianity. Those moral codes are actually the Mosaic laws of the Hebrew Bible.

[…] What they [Western “progressives” and the Islamists] also have in common is hostility to Judaism, Israel or the Jewish people. The genocidal hatred of Israel and the Jews that drives the Islamic jihad against the West is not acknowledged or countered by the West because its most high-minded citizens share at least some of that prejudice. Both Western liberals and Islamists believe in utopias to which the Jews are an obstacle. The State of Israel is an obstacle to both the rule of Islam over the earth and a world where there are no divisions based on religion or creed. The Jews are an obstacle to the unconstrained individualism of Western libertines and to the onslaught against individual human dignity and freedom by the Islamists. Both the liberal utopias of a world without prejudice, divisions or war and the Islamist utopia of a world without unbelievers are universalist ideologies. The people who are always in the way of universalising utopias are the Jews.

Do read it all, and there is a deal more than I have given you. The full title is: Secularism and religion: the onslaught against the West’s moral codes. It is simply a superb examination of where our basic morality came from, and how it has allowed us to exceed former civilizations by orders of magnitude, and how it has come to be endangered.

Crossposted from All along the Watchtower.


Still, Again

One of the victims of the Rotherham grooming ring (Getty)

I imagine you remember the mess that spilled out from under the carpet in Rotheringham a while back. Hundreds of underage girls (what the media won’t tell you is, they are white working class girls, mostly) beaten, drugged, sexually abused, and such. “Grooming” they call it. Grooming for what, well I guess you can figure that one out. Very few if any people have yet to go to jail for it. Why? Because the perpetrators are, almost without exception, what the British euphemistically call, Asian. What they really are is Moslem, usually Pakistani, and their religion puts them above UK law, because of the higher law of PC. Sad, ain’t it?

There have been several cases since Rotherham spewed forth, and now there is still another, in Telford. Best I’ve read on it so far is from the Catholic Herald.

A casual attitude towards underage sex is putting children in terrible danger

What do Torbay, Liverpool, Rochdale, Thurrock, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Bristol and Somerset have in common? All have been the subject of serious case reviews published within the past five years in connection with child sexual exploitation. That’s without mentioning Professor Alexis Jay’s independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

In all nine regions, a clear picture emerges of a culture in which underage sexual activity is viewed as relatively harmless so long as it is perceived to be consensual.

To that growing hall of shame, we must now add Telford. According to an 18-month Sunday Mirror investigation, an estimated 1,000 girls suffered sexual exploitation and abuse in the Shropshire district over a period of 40 years.

As yet, there has been no formal investigation into child sexual exploitation in Telford and no full published report, but from the limited information already available we see the reappearance of several features found in reports from other regions.

First of all, we find the same complacent attitudes towards underage sex. The Sunday Mirror reveals that “Council files show social services, teachers and mental health workers were fully aware of what was happening but did little. They also failed to tell police.”

Why? Because, like their counterparts in Rochdale, Rotherham and Bristol, education and welfare professionals in Telford assumed that the girls were making what are sometimes called “lifestyle choices”. “Instead of seeing them as exploited victims, some council staff viewed them as prostitutes,” we are told.

And so “case histories reveal many were ignored after reporting rapes to the police”. On the basis of prior assumptions that had been made about the girls, their reports were not taken seriously. The Rotherham Inquiry similarly found that “children as young as 11 were deemed to be having consensual sexual intercourse when in fact they were being raped and abused by adults”.

A second common feature is the ready and confidential provision of contraception and the morning-after pill to underage girls. One 14 year-old Telford victim said, “I must have been getting the morning-after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions.”

In spite of her frequent use of the morning-after pill, the girl fell pregnant twice and had two abortions. But presumably, still no questions were asked.

By virtue of the fact that they were seeking contraception and “sexual health services”, the girls were deemed to be making mature and responsible choices, and assumed to be freely exercising their sexual rights, even though many of them were under the age of 16 and in some cases were as young as 11.

Keep reading Norman Wells excellent article.

Whether this again involves Asians, I simply don’t know, but frankly, it matters little. That the British have become so callous towards these young girls, is the real scandal, I can imagine only a few places in America where such things could happen – on an industrial scale. A thousand girls! My God, if it were to happen most places in America – the accused would be very lucky indeed to make it to jail.

I have few answers, but I will note that this is what happens when you delegate authority that belongs to the family to an overweening welfare state. No doubt, still another chapter of this tragedy will be along shortly.

[And an update: My friends at The Conservative Woman are also writing about this, and know far more about the political situation than I do. Read the linked article, as well.]

The Storm that Closed England

From Peter Hitchens:

It wasn’t snow or ice that paralysed much of Britain during the past few days. It was lawyers. A great swirling storm of ambulance-chasers long ago descended on this country, blanketing common sense under a thick layer of solidified, litigious drivel.

I strongly suspect it was a terror of litigation that caused me to be trapped pointlessly for ages in an immobilised train on Thursday morning and then forced me into a huge diversion to get to work four hours late. At one point, as I rambled round Southern England in rattling carriages, I wondered if I might have to go through the Channel Tunnel to get to my desk.

I had assumed that some astonishing unexpected weather bomb had caused my problems. But when I looked into it, I found that a few miserable deposits of snow and ice on the platforms of Paddington Station in London had led to the closure, for several hours, of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway system.

How Brunel, that mighty engineer, who never saw an obstacle without wanting to overcome it, would have snorted with derision. I later checked with the Met Office, and they said the weather stations in Central London had reported no significant snowfall on the night before.

When I put this to Network Rail, they sent me a long statement repeatedly claiming they had faced ‘extreme conditions’ and offering this excuse:

‘The station was not temporarily closed because of snow. It was temporarily closed because a combination of snow, strong wind and freezing temperature created sheet ice on the platforms and areas of the concourse creating an unacceptable risk to station users, particularly passengers disembarking trains.’ They sent me pictures, showing a few pitiful patches of snow, as if these were evidence of a major crisis. I am not convinced. I think they are evidence of a fear of litigation.

As for ‘extreme conditions’, what can they mean? Those of us old enough to remember the genuinely devastating winter of 1962-3 know what cold weather can do here. Then, there was a 36-hour blizzard right across the country, with 80mph winds creating 20ft snowdrifts.

The upper reaches of the Thames froze solid enough for a car to be driven across the river at Oxford. Even the salt sea froze four miles out from Dunkirk and a mile out from Herne Bay in Kent. The snow lay without a break for two months.

In the North of Scotland, temperatures got below zero Fahrenheit, what we would have called 35 degrees of frost (minus 19.4 on the boring, crude Celsius scale), which is really cold.

That was a crisis. This isn’t. But a terrible fear of being sued has turned it into one, helped by the intolerant and stupid Green Dogma which has closed and demolished most of our perfectly serviceable coal-fired power stations and brought us close to a totally needless gas shortage. Count yourselves lucky we still have some coal generation left, or there would have been serious shutdowns last week.

More at the link, of course.

Sound familiar? I sat here listening to the British domestic radio as they panicked during the storm, and chuckled at them as effete poofters, but after reading Hitchens, it’s not really very funny anymore, because it is America too. When every decision is driven by fear of litigation, and make no mistake, in business nearly all of them are, the insurance companies insist, they are not being made for the best interests of the corporation, the employees, the vendors, or the stockholders. They are being made in fear, to avoid lawsuits, no matter the harm to the real stakeholders.

Fear is also what drives the kowtowing to the left. It can be as picayunish as that the CEO won’t get invited to the right cocktail parties, or the perhaps legitimate fear of political action, or other actions that hurt the company, but as some, like the NFL have found, not taking action can have repercussions as well. If you want the big bucks of being a corporate officer, well, sometimes, you just have to suck it up and do the right, or as we’ve seen the last few weeks, the wrong, thing. Opposing the great middle of the United States again, attempting to confiscate our arms, will have a cost, it always does. I wouldn’t call us vindictive, I would call us just, and over the last 75 years, if we’ve learned only one thing here, it’s that you are either with us or you are against us. Both sides have costs and opportunities, but for me, it will be a while till I fly on Delta again, at least if I can help it.

It’s also a mechanism to avoid responsibility, of course. If your insurance company, or worse your lawyer, who was trained primarily to break deals without penalty, advises you don’t do something, well there is your excuse. And remember, no one ever found it difficult to stand around instead of doing what they should be doing (or even what they shouldn’t be doing).

So how do we (and the British for that matter) fix it? Or should we? Seems to me some sort of tort reform is in order, to make it considerably less lucrative to the lawyer to sue companies and people for stupid stuff. That would be a good start.

Calling BS

I told myself that CPAC was over, it was all the GOPe, the never-Trumpers and all that. Probably you did as well, and as always there were some controversies. But there is also some really good stuff there. Yeah, like Dana Loesch, fresh from the fake news town hall, telling the legacy media how it’s going to be. Watch it, you’ll like it, and you’ll like what she says. I think you’ll be heartened by it, I was.


Incidentally, she talks a bit in there about how Social Media networks are having to change their algorithms because we have figured it out, and we are taking over. Well, we’ve had quite a few videos this week (for here, anyway) and not a single one of them could be found by WordPress’s youtube plugin. Might be a coincidence, of course, but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.

Along that line, Stacy McCain tells us that his account at has been suspended. Why? Well, you get three guesses but the first two don’t count. Let him tell it:

On Feb. 14, I received this email from

We are writing to notify you that your account is in violation of our rules, and your profile and posts will no longer be publicly available on Medium.

Medium exists to share and discuss ideas. We don’t tolerate harassment, which includes:

— Bullying, threatening, or shaming someone, or posting things likely to encourage others to do so
— Posting copies of private communications between private individuals without the explicit consent of all parties to the communication
–Doxing, which includes not only private or obscure personal information but also the aggregation of publicly available information to target, shame, blackmail, harass, intimidate, threaten, or endanger
— Using Medium features like responses, private notes, mentions, follows, story requests, or writer requests in a way intended to annoy or harass someone
— Posting intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s express consent

Related conduct
We do not allow posts or accounts that engage in on-platform, off-platform, or cross-platform campaigns of targeting, harassment, hate speech, violence, or disinformation. We may consider off-platform actions in assessing a Medium account, and restrict access or availability to that account.

Your work will remain accessible to you while signed in, and may be exported at any time by following the instructions here, but will appear as unavailable to others.
Your Medium membership, if you have one, will be cancelled and any remaining funds you may have prepaid will be returned to you.
Medium Trust & Safety

There was nothing in this email to describe how anything I had done had specifically violated these rules. So I sent them an email inquiring what content had caused this suspension, and what I might do to get my account reinstated. No answer. So I emailed again, and again. Nothing.

Anybody surprised? I didn’t think so.

But you know, it’s not too bad here yet, and the battle is truly joined, and as always, the Brits are slowly mobilizing as well, except of course, in Londonistan, which has been lost. But you know, not all that many years ago a great man said, in perfectly serviceable Anglo-Saxon words, “We shall fight on beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender …” And if Europe will survive or even the UK and the US, it will be up to us, the Anglo-Saxons to make it so. What was, is, and will be – we are the guarantors of liberty. Here’s another one of us.

And finally, a heroic Brit you probably won’t hear about on the BBC, but you will from American Conservatives. From Fox News.

An 88-year-old British military veteran tapped into his decades-old training to reportedly save a young woman from five knife-wielding thugs.

John Nixon, who fought in the Korean War, said he stepped in when he noticed five youths grab a woman’s handbag and clothes while walking down Raglan Street, in Kenthish Town, last month.

“My initial thoughts were to divert their attention away from the girl who was screaming. I shouted ‘leave her alone,’” he told the Evening Standard. “But they turned on me, saying ‘We’ll take your money instead,’ and I said, ‘No you don’t.’ Kids this age are full of bravado, you see, they weren’t expecting a surprise.”

Nixon said his military training kicked in and he fought back at one of the suspected thieves, slugging one in the neck.

“I disabled one but another pulled out a knife so I had to try and deal with him too,” he continued. “I tried to disarm him and in the process I got stab wounds here, there and everywhere. There was a lot of blood. He wasn’t trained and it was more of a pocket knife. Luckily my wounds were shallow.”

The robbers fled and Nixon was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Police officers applauded Nixon for the Jan. 27 attack, commending him for his “extraordinary bravery.”

Bravo Zulu, Sir!

The story notes that no arrests have been made, and no description of the perpetrators evident, at least in the story I saw, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as I have drawn mine.

Dog Whistling for the Stupid

William Stone, Sheriff of Accomac Shire, Virginia, 1634

You must be very careful out there, these days, the stupid it lurks everywhere. Paul Mirengoff tells us that Jeff Sessions when he spoke to the National Sheriff’s Association lately had the effrontery to refer to our Anglo-American legal heritage. He said.

I want to thank every sheriff in America. Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process. The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.

Cue the stupid outrage:

Sen. Brian Schatz (D. Haw.) led the charge. He tweeted:

Do you know anyone who says “Anglo-American heritage” in a sentence? What could possibly be the purpose of saying that other than to pit Americans against each other? For the chief law enforcement officer to use a dog whistle like that is appalling. Best NO vote I ever cast.

My word, does he think our law was delivered on stone tablets on Mt. Washington, by the Spaghetti Monster, or perhaps that we borrowed that paragon of fairness, the Zambesian legal code.  Life is hard, and it harder when you are still stupid, and even worse when you haven’t the sense to shut up.

Even some leftists know better

From Barack Obama in 2006:

The world is watching what we do today in America. They will know what we do here today, and they will treat all of us accordingly in the future—our soldiers, our diplomats, our journalists, anybody who travels beyond these borders. I hope we remember this as we go forward. I sincerely hope we can protect what has been called the “great writ”—a writ that has been in place in the Anglo-American legal system for over 700 years.

Obama invoked the same tradition in 2008, while campaigning for the presidency. The Washington Post reported:

Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for more than a decade, said captured suspects deserve to file writs of habeus corpus. Calling it “the foundation of Anglo-American law,” he said the principle “says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you have the right to at least ask, ‘Why was I grabbed?’ And say, ‘Maybe you’ve got the wrong person.’”

As President, Obama continued to speak of the Anglo-American legal tradition. From CBS News:

Obama would not say whether [closing Gitmo] could be achieved within the first 100 days of his term, citing the challenge of creating a balanced process “that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo-American legal system, but doing it in a way that doesn’t result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.

The Sheriff goes far back into our history. Yes, we all know the semi-legendary role he played in the American West. But he was an old hand by then.

The Sheriff was the chief law enforcement officer in colonial America, the first sworn sheriff was William Stone, pictured above, who was sworn in as the Sheriff of Accomac Shire in Virginia in 1634.

Thomas Jefferson said that the Sheriff was, “the most important executive officer of the country”.

But this is recent history, The Sheriff is mentioned nine times in Magna Charta. Nor was it a new office then, even if this is contemporary with the Sheriff of Nottingham chasing Robin Hood.

In fact, the Shire system was designed by King Alfred the Great around 871AD and Shire was administered by none other than the Shire Reeve, which term, English being English became the Sheriff.

Think about that for a bit, that guy that in our more rural areas many us know, might even be friends with, his office was established by King Alfred the Great, taken over as is by King William the Conqueror, mentioned in Magna Charta, the first executive agent in the American colonies, helped bring law and order to the Wild West, and continues on much the same today, 1147 years later.

Hat tip to: The Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Dan Hannan tells a story about a few years ago, when the UK was seeking to decentralize and democratize law enforcement (don’t worry, leftists, they mostly got over it) he told all and sundry that the proper term for the executive was the “Sheriff”. He says he was rebuffed with the comment that the term was ‘too American’. Must have studied history with Sen. Brian Schatz (D, Stupid).

That looks a good bit like an Anglo-American heritage there to me, Pilgrim.

[On another note, see you at Ash Wednesday service, and Happy Valentine’s Day. The first time since 1945, that the two signal markers of love have happened on the same day. Seems fitting somehow. God’s perfect love reflected in our (very) imperfect love of his creatures.]

B-Ball and the Chaos Before the Storm

In one of those unpredictable things, last night turned into movie night here, first with Hoosiers and then with Darkest Hour. It is an interesting pairing.

In the first, we have the eternal American story of the underdog, the Milan Huskers, overcoming the big city South Bend Central Bears, a quintessentially American story of the underdog overcoming the big city favorite. And all the better for being true.  See this post. But it carries over to the Darkest Hour as well.

Here we have Britain, holding firm alone amongst the Europeans against the Nazi Germans. When all the others buckled, there was Britain, standing alone, as it had against Napoleon. The nation of shopkeepers standing alone, waiting for the new world to step to its rescue.

And here again, a half-century later it becomes true again. The ruling class in the UK has sold out to the left and left the real conservatives without representation, but we know many proud Britons remain. And so. once again the New World prepares to rescue the Old World.

We know what they do not wish to acknowledge, and we are OK with that, but that is the situation. I always wonder if the situation would have worked out if Winston Churchill’s mother hadn’t been Jennie Jerome, an American. It’s an interesting point to ponder.

And we see it once again, the British establishment unable (or unwilling) to confront the leftist tide in their own society, the right taking their cue from their own daughter society, the United States. That is not a bad thing, when necessary we too have taken inspiration from our British forebearers. As I’ve said before, the difference is that we wrote it down.


You know as I continue with these subjects, increasingly it strikes me that only Americans recognize the difference between good and evil as opposed to what sounds good, feels good, but is in reality not good at all.

As for the movie, Darkest Hour, I liked it. Yes, the scene in the underground that so many have talked about is jarring and unbelievable but is there to make the point about the differences between normal and those in the ruling class, who then and now, existed in a bubble.

But do see it, in truth since both are out, pair it with Dunkirk, they portray nearly the same week, and the difference between the calm of London with the chaos of the evacuation beaches is important itself.

No movie is really historically accurate, and that is true for all three we’ve mentioned here. But movies can make a point that is hard to convey in written words, and all three do here. Hoosiers remind me of much of what I loved about growing up in Indiana, some of which is lost forever, as it always is.

The other two speak of a time just a bit before mine, when the entire world was chaos, and a very few people took the duty to lead us through the storm and did it without thinking overly of the effects it would have on them. For all of us today, these are the people who built the world we live in, and it behooves us to try to understand them, as once again chaos threatens us.

In any case, see the movies, you’ll enjoy all three.

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